Week of July 28 - August 3, 2014

Looking for free yoga classes in Boston? See the Summer 2014 listing here!

Massachusetts Farmers Markets and food trucks are everywhere. Plus, look at this handy guide to the Boston Public Market!

Questions about this blog? Check out the FAQ.

Blog Housekeeping: Recently I've noticed broken links on some posts, so I'm doing my best to fix them, but it's a painfully slow process. In case some of you have clicked on a link in a post to join me on Facebook, it may not have worked. You can join me and "Like" the page by clicking here.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Grocery Shopping: Fruit Center Marketplace ~ Part 1

If you've been following food related labor news recently, you're probably aware that there are thousands of people in Massachusetts looking for different places to do their grocery shopping.

About a month ago, I had the opportunity to find a real gem of specialty grocery store, which might be a nice alternative for some. Fruit Center Marketplace is located in Milton and in Hingham, so the location is great if you are in the Boston area and South Shore.

I visited the Milton location and was surprised that it is so close to where I live. Fruit Center Marketplace is much larger than I imagined. If you take the Milton exit off the Expressway, it's right there, but kind of hidden. I had never noticed it the thousands of times that I had driven in that area.

The store is very large, well organized and filled with anything your heart or stomach could possibly desire. The pictures of rows of dried fruits, nuts and produce from yesterday's post were from the store.

I was so swept away by the sheer beauty of everything that I took 150 pictures! Needless to say, it's taken me a while to get through them and I've been rather overwhelmed with trying to put a post together. So I'm taking baby steps.
One of my favorite things was learning about how many locally produced selections they carry. The first picture above shows some of the local coffees they carry: Flat Black and Coffee Break.

They only carry craft beers, many of which are locally brewed or at the very least are brewed in the United States. The picture above shows some beers from Blue Hills Brewery in Canton and Wachusett Brewing Company in Westminister. The variety will blow your mind!

If you are looking to buy American, Fruit Center Marketplace makes it very easy. If you want to take something special to a gathering this summer or if you are having people over, you'll find so many interesting and quality items to choose from.

Besides beers, they have a wonderful selection of wines as well. The store has a wonderful balance of local, regional, American and international products in general. So if you want to focus on items from certain parts of the United States or from specific foreign countries, you can do that too.

The Fruit Center's Hingham location is having special outdoor events where local chefs fire up the grill and demonstrate their cooking skills. There was an event today, but this post is going up too late to mention it. There are at least two more of these events coming up! See below.

Saturday, August 9, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Executive Chef Estaban Gallego from ESTER in Dorchester
Grilled Salmon with Mexican “Street Corn”

Saturday, August 23, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Chef-Owner Brian Jenkins from PORTO BISTRO in Kingston
Marinated Skirt Steak with Meyer Lemon, chimichurri sauce and corn

Hopefully you'll get a chance to attend one of these cooking demonstrations and enjoy some of the free food!

This is just Part 1 about Fruit Center Marketplace. Stay tuned for more!

+ + +
Disclosure: Steve's Ice Cream was provided to me compliments of Fruit Center Marketplace. Thank you!

Anali's First Amendment © 2006-2014. All rights reserved.
This Post’s Link
Subscribe to blog posts. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram
Join me on Facebook.
Shopping on Amazon today? If so, please consider starting here and help support this blog.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Win Visa Gift Cards, A FitBit Flex & FitBit Aria Scale!

Thank you UnitedHealthcare for sponsoring this Post!*

Staying healthy has become even more important to me as the years go by. I’m still looking to drop some pounds and making it more fun by adding a tip to the tip jar each time I exercise. It makes me surprisingly happy believe it or not!

While I do have a sweet tooth, I try to eat dessert in moderation and especially eat a lot of fruits (fresh and dried), vegetables and nuts too. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, many family members are on medications to control high blood pressure and diabetes, so I know there is a higher risk for me as well. Prevention is the best medicine and I’m always trying!

I’ve written here before about how I’m one of 59,000 black women who enrolled in the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) back in 1995. It’s the largest study yet of black women’s health and will be celebrating the 20th year in 2015 with a major report on their findings. I always look forward to the twice a year newsletter mailings with updates on the study and the latest news about health and wellness.

Their website also has information about studies relating to the impact of racism on obesity in African American women, how vigorous exercise is still a way to fight obesity and research about the question of hair relaxers being related to an increased risk for uterine fibroids.

While not related to the BWHS, something that I just learned about is a UnitedHealthcare website called Generations of Wellness. The focus is on improving the health outcomes of African Americans through educational campaigns using innovative and unique health tools.

I really like that there is a focus on family and health, because the two are so connected. I’ve learned things about generational health issues in my family over casual brunches talking to my aunts, uncles and cousins. Make the most of those family get-togethers!

+ + +

An educational campaign going on right now is the “Live Well Pass It On Fitness Questions Sweepstakes.”

The Sweepstakes runs through the end of July and is a good motivator to be more mindful of fitness and get your exercise routine in gear. So much of good health is just getting into the right mindset.

By visiting the Live Well Pass It On website, you can answer some easy health and wellness questions and be entered to win one of several $25 Visa gift cards and the Grand Prize of a FitBit Flex and a FitBit Aria Scale. You can enter the Sweepstakes once per day for the rest of the month.

Take a look at the Official Rules to learn more. The contest is open to most everyone as long as they are legal residents of the 50 United States who are eighteen (18) years or older, except for you must be at least nineteen (19) years or older in AL or NE.

Besides possibly winning these cool fitness gadgets and giftcards, the Generations of Wellness website also has fitness guides for workouts that you can download. The routines include music suggestions, so they are timed. Take a look at the workouts timed for: 10 minutes, 20 minutes and 30 minutes. I’m on week two on a four week to run a mile program and need to switch up my cross-training, so these might work out for me as well.

Also, you can find fitness videos by newlywed Darrin Henson, who you may know from the Showtime series Soul Food and the movie Stomp the Yard. Besides being an actor, he’s also a choreographer and dancer who worked with New Kids OnThe Block, Brandy, Salt N Pepa, 'N SYNC and Britney Spears.

Generations of Wellness has a lot to see. Remember to go to the website and enter to win!

+ + + 

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with UnitedHealthcare. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Anali’s First Amendment.

Anali's First Amendment © 2006-2014. All rights reserved.
This Post’s Link
Subscribe to blog posts. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram
Join me on Facebook.
Shopping on Amazon today? If so, please consider starting here and help support this blog.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What Would Olivia Pope Do? #MarketBasket

Since my first blog post about Market Basket on Monday, the drama has only increased.

As a devoted fan of Scandal, I can't help but picture an extremely concerned looking Olivia Pope being called to one of the homes of the new co-CEOs -- Felicia Thornton and James Gooch.

Based on an article by WBUR, one of the first things Pope would have her Gladiators start on would be getting the company its own website.

Yup! Until a few hours ago, a multi-billion dollar company with 25,000 employees did not have its own website. Hard to believe, but a devoted fan was operating a website on the domain MyDemoulas.com, which is now a Dot Net. Just this morning, Market Basket now officially has its own website.

While I've never been a crisis manager, I would think that the first thing to do would be to take control of the information that you can that is being put out about the company.

If this were an episode of Scandal, I would think there would be a press conference being called in the near future by the CEOs, because right now the workers have taken hold of the story and they have the support of most everyone.

Massachusetts loves a fight the power story! Although this is kind of a strange fight the power story. The people want to restore the status quo and have much love for their ousted CEO. There are lessons for corporate America here.

From what I've read on a recent post on the Save Market Basket Facebook page, there is supposed to be a Board of Directors Meeting on Friday at the Prudential Center in Boston. Disclosure: I liked the page and I'm with the employees! 

 Another huge rally is planned for Friday in Tewksbury. Below is the text of the post.
On Friday, July 25, at 9am we will stage what we hope will be our biggest and final rally. We will meet at the same place, 10 Main Street, Tewksbury, to put the finishing touch on our week of protest and celebrate who and what we are. We are in the midst of what will most likely be the biggest and most important cause any of us will ever be a part of. The eyes of the nation are on us as we march forward with unwavering resolve to get ATD back in charge and put Market Basket back on track.
Our fight has been joined by tens of thousands. Associates, vendors, media, politicians and most importantly, our customers. We call on our customers to join us Friday and make this rally yours. Your participation in supporting us by boycotting Market Basket until this is seen through is the single most powerful weapon we have.

We ask that you continue to shop elsewhere and let your voices be heard both at the rally and in ASDs wallet!

We fervently hope that Friday, when the Board meets at 4pm in the Prudential Center in Boston, our revolution ends with the proper resolution. They can put an end to all of this with a simple vote to do what is right: return Arthur T. Demoulas to his role of President and CEO. The three "Independent" members, Keith Cowan, Ron Weiner and Eric Gebaide have their reputations and potentially their financial well being on the line. They have a fiduciary obligation to do what is best for this company. They must to do what is best for New England. Then must to do what is best for the customers.
If you'd like to understand more about the background of this story, Boston.com has a terrific infographic. The Gloucester Clam, has written a very informative and hilarious explanation Clamsplainer. See Part 1 and Part 2.

While there is certainly room for humor, this situation is serious. The livelihoods of thousands are on the line. In this economy especially, it doesn't get much more serious than that.

It's really brave to go out on a limb for something that you believe in when you have everything to lose. Just days ago, I finally saw the John Adams mini-series and thoughts of the American Revolution are fresh in my mind. It really is moving and I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it.

Yesterday, I was doing some errands and drove by Peacefield. It really is amazing to live in Quincy and think about the history. I could feel it in the air.

Seeing what the Market Basket workers are doing all in the name of a shared belief about what is right brings it all home. The Patriots did not know if this American experiment would work. Neither do the Market Basket workers. But they are trying. And that is all that any of us can do.

+ + + 
Photo Credit: Scandal Website

Anali's First Amendment © 2006-2014. All rights reserved.
This Post’s Link
Subscribe to blog posts. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram
Join me on Facebook.
Shopping on Amazon today? If so, please consider starting here and help support this blog.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Breaking News: #MarketBasket

I've written about Market Basket here before. It's a pretty amazing chain of grocery stores in New England. It's a favorite of not just consumers, but of employees too, because of the fair way that they have been treated.

The store is family operated and there has been a lot of in-fighting over the years. Recently the former and much beloved CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas was ousted by the Board of Directors. Employees demanded that Demoulas be reinstated or they would walk off the job. Workers were told that if they walked out, they would be fired.

Things escalated over this past weekend. Workers walked off the job, but deny they are striking. They just want Demoulas reinstated as CEO. Since then, several workers have been fired and supplies are running out in the stores.

Customers support the employees and many are talking about a boycott. Things are heating up. The Twitter stream above will keep updating.

+ + +

As the day goes on and people continue to rally to bring back #ATD as he's being called on Twitter, I'm reminded of the devotion between Aaron Feuerstein and his employees after a devastating fire to Malden Mills right before Christmas. Feuerstein paid the salaries of employees while he was rebuilding.

An article about the fire on Mass Moments explains his reasoning for the way he treated his employees.
"Feuerstein, a devout Orthodox Jew, explained that he drew on Jewish tradition when faced with the crisis: "When all is moral chaos, this is the time for you to be a mensch," the Yiddish word for an honorable, decent, compassionate person who embodies justice and strives for righteousness."
Sadly, his efforts weren't enough and Malden Mills was lost to creditors. Feurstein was removed as CEO.  I hope that there is a happier ending with Market Basket. The Board of Directors has the opportunity to take advantage of a lot of goodwill for the store right now and bring back ATD. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Anali's First Amendment © 2006-2014. All rights reserved.
This Post’s Link
Subscribe to blog posts. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram
Join me on Facebook.
Shopping on Amazon today? If so, please consider starting here and help support this blog.

Disclaimer: Nothing stated on Anali's First Amendment should be construed as legal advice. No attorney client relationships have been formed on this blog. © 2006-2014. Anali's First Amendment/Lisa C. Johnson. All rights reserved. Do not use writing or photographs without permission. Please read About + Contact for more details.