Busy Bee Organics For, Well, Busy Bees in Jersey City

Little did I know that having a baby would kick off the wellness journey of my life. Not during my pregnancy, mind you, where carrot cake and Fruity Pebbles were a girl's best friend. But postpartum, in part with my health in mind, but shamefully in retrospect, more with a focus on losing the baby weight that was hiding under the baby. Turns out, I wasn't hiding the french fries or the pizza any better than the sweets. It's been a battle, mostly uphill. But little by little, slowly but surely, I'm getting there. Many resources have contributed along the way, most recently since we moved to Jersey City. Those are the ones I'm going to share along my wellness journey, starting with Busy Bee Organics.

I came in contact with Michelle, a natural food chef, nutritionist and the owner/founder of Busy Bee Organics, serendipitously. The same day that I posted an interview with one of Chilltown's hottest bloggers, Lynn of ChicpeaJC, Lynn posted an interview with Michelle on her blog. The day previous to our respective posts, while my family was in Costa Rica, I was discussing with my Love how I wanted to find a nutritionist in Jersey City to support me on my wellness journey. I've built a team with myself at the core, inspired by the way Kris Carr battles cancer (if you're not familiar with her story, check it out here). While I'm not fighting anything nearly so serious as cancer, I admire and have employed Carr's approach.

Shouldn't we all see ourselves at the center of our picture of health, and our doctors as but one contributing advisor in that mix? I've shifted toward that mentality, adding nutrition, acupuncture, massage, chiropractics and more to the wheel and web. Being that I'm most invested in how this thing turns out, I've made it my own responsibility to make myself, and keep myself, well.

Michelle is holding down the food spoke of my wheel. In reading her interview on ChicpeaJC, I learned that she too had battled health struggles (in the form of an eating disorder) and through her study of and work in nutrition and cooking, Michelle came out on top. With too many coincidences adding up to ignore, I reached out to Michelle. I felt she immediately understood what I was seeking, and we made plans to meet up and talk food.

Michelle of Busy Bee Organics. Photo courtesy of busybeeorganics.com

Michelle of Busy Bee Organics. Photo courtesy of busybeeorganics.com

While Chicpea's interview put the pieces of the puzzle together, it was not the first I heard of Busy Bee Organics, because Michelle is present at the Grove Street Farmers' Markets on Thursdays and I noticed her there last summer. For some reason, I never approached her table.

Big mistake! But better late than never. Things seem to walk into my life when I need them most, and therefore the timing is perfect.

In the final weeks before our advertising and design festival in Miami Beach in April, life is beyond nuts. Some days, even slapping together almond butter sandwiches feels like a stretch, and it seems that the Seamless app is open on my iPhone more nights than not, so a service like Busy Bee Organics is a Godsend.

Busy Bee Organics (well, Michelle) cooks delicious, fresh, healthy, homemade food and delivers it right to your doorstep once a week (during the winter. During the summer, you pick up your order at the Thursday evening Grove Street Farmers' Market, or arrange with Michelle for a special situation). Michelle releases a weekly menu on Monday nights or Tuesdays (here is this week's menu but you can sign up for the mailing list on her website to receive the menu via email), which is nothing if not completely temptingly scrumptious-sounding every single week.

She offers a couple entrees with a number of dietary considerations in mind (paleo, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free) and always with the option to add consciously-raised meat. She has salads and sides, a quiche or two, a weekly buffin (check them out) plus buffin mix, homemade nut milks and nut butter blends, beet hummus and desserts. In addition to the desserts she makes, Michelle also carries a selection of Milk Sugar Love flavors and sammiches each week, and local raw honey. While I can't possibly fathom how she does all of this, it's total perfection and as the title of this post suggests, one the greatest local services for busy bee Jersey City mamas and papas.

We tried a variety of items from Michelle's menu, ordering veggie curry entrees, kale salads, chive crustless quiche and even dessert (just try to resist the desserts she offers when you try Busy Bee yourself)! Michelle arrived at our doorstep promptly at 5 PM on delivery day (she will accommodate times where possible during the winter, I'm sure depending on volume, but guaranteed delivery between 5-8 PM) with this beautiful bag in hand.

Beautiful because its contents meant:

  1. I was off the hook in the kitchen that night, save for moving our cleaned-off plates from the table to the dishwasher; and
  2. It was filled with homemade, truly healthy and most importantly, incredibly flavorful food.

Blessings all the way around. Check out the curries, salads, quiche and vegan brownie we enjoyed:

The portions are generous, and while my Love finished his in one sitting, I was able to save a portion of mine for lunch the next day. My daughter enjoyed the quiche, which she called "pizza" (anything triangular is pizza, a trick I use to excess). The vegan brownie, needless to say, did not live to see another day.

It didn't take us long to decide that Busy Bee would be a weekly part of our own dinner menu. For what we would spend on Seamless, we can order food that we know is in absolute tip-top nutritional shape and locally prepared. Sadly, the weeks since we first ordered (again, around the Festival) have been nuts and kept us out of town, including a great portion of time where I couldn't eat much of anything. But once we're back in the groove in Jersey City, Busy Bee will be back on the table.

Michelle offers a variety of yummy recipes on her website, free of charge, and also offers healthy cooking classes for individuals or groups. Have I mentioned that I don't know how she does it all? I don't. But I'm sure glad she does!

Look for Michelle and Busy Bee Organics at the Grove Street Farmers' Market, or in the following corners of the interwebs: