By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD and MOM
We all love the famed show Sex in the City! Fashion, friends, and sex. Who didn’t want that life? Well, after twenty years of living it up—fun, fashion, food, fitness, and even family in my city of New York, I have moved to the ’burbs of Jersey. Goodness, it has taken me a while to write this blog! This is not just because I needed the evidence of time, but I needed to personally accept and adjust to suburban life. My greatest fear in moving back to the ’burbs is that surrounding health. I know that in the city I can create balance between food, fitness, and fun, but is it possible to have it all in the ’burbs? Leaving New York City is harder than actually getting used to the suburban routine. Here is what I am learning. Keep in mind, my friends say I like to make lemonade from lemons.
Funny that suburban moms are stereotyped as eating bonbons on the couch, but kids are stereotyped as supposedly healthier and more active in the ’burbs. Well, this is what I’ve inferred when everyone tells me the ’burbs are so much better for my boys. Would this be my reality? Would there be yoga, spin, and kale? I knew I could get cupcakes! I wasn’t sure that they would be as delicious as Baked by Melissa’s or Sprinkles though. There was no Organic Avenue, and I knew there weren’t any restaurants, like my city favorites (Telepan Local, Little Park, and Hudson Eats). Was I going to be confined to life in a car? Life in the ’burbs didn’t sound so sexy to this mom.
In the city I walked, scooted, and cabbed everywhere. With nice weather and time, I walked. Once I bought my famous Xootr Scooter, that became my preferred mode of transportation. It was indeed faster than taking a cab and served as a substitute for exercise class. I do recommend the Xootr. I truly did not have a two-hour chunk of time to get to yoga or spin this past spring or summer. The scooter was the perfect way to stay active and even zen in the head. Being so close to nature, the Hudson River, and even the storefronts made me appreciate and love NYC even more than I already did. And I love NYC. Knowing I was moving to a car-dependent town was depressing.
I have been here in NJ since August. A lot has changed over the past twenty years—this is a good thing. I am happy to report that yoga studios dot the towns and there is even a spin studio. Nyack Yoga on Main Street is authentic yoga and just what I need. I have also found an amazing hot yoga class that is on the Class Pass. I have found restaurants like Roast that serve local farm-fresh fare. The con is that they charge as much as city restaurants for a space that costs less. Hum? But it is music to my taste buds to get farm-fresh food. We can even get fresh eggs and just-picked tomatoes that are better than candy—all just around the corner from my house. There is no Whole Foods within walking distance, but there is a Fairway and even a Whole Foods if I get in the car and drive a little farther.
The not so hot stuff—I drive everywhere. I scootered the kids to school one day. Yes, only one day in the past six weeks. Everyone drives everywhere. I even found myself driving across the shopping plaza to go from one store to another. When I realized what I was doing, I put the kibosh on that and walked my tush across the plaza to get my coffee. In the end, I have now joined a gym. This is my first gym experience in about fifteen years. Why? Though I am not a fan of gym mentalities, this place had the best spin class near my home as well as yoga. In the end, I want to just get moving, feel energized, and be productive with work. Since I can do all it here, I am trying it out. So I am less active with daily physical activity, but I hope, with unlimited classes, I may be able to squeeze in one more yoga class a week, if time permits. There is no kale salad, but I have learned to make caesar dressing, and it must suffice.
In the ’burbs, you have to try harder. I miss walking everywhere and being active as a lifestyle versus being active only at the gym. This is just my opinion and my reality. I am happy to hear others’ points of view especially in different locations.
On the flip side, everyone said, “It will be better for the children.” Read our next blog to get the rest of the story.