HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy in Carlstadt, NJ

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HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY for Women estrogen
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What Causes Menopause?

The most common reason for menopause is the natural decline in a female's reproductive hormones. However, menopause can also result from the following situations:

Oophorectomy: This surgery, which removes a woman's ovaries, causes immediate menopause. Symptoms and signs of menopause in this situation can be severe, as the hormonal changes happen abruptly.

Chemotherapy: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can induce menopause quickly, causing symptoms to appear shortly after or even during treatment.

Ovarian Insufficiency: Also called premature ovarian failure, this condition is essentially premature menopause. It happens when a woman's ovaries quit functioning before the age of 40 and can stem from genetic factors and disease. Only 1% of women suffer from premature menopause, but HRT can help protect the heart, brain, and bones.

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Depression

If you're a woman going through menopause and find that you have become increasingly depressed, you're not alone. It's estimated that 15% of women experience depression to some degree while going through menopause. What many women don't know is that depression can start during perimenopause, or the years leading up to menopause.

Depression can be hard to diagnose, especially during perimenopause and menopause. However, if you notice the following signs, it might be time to speak with a physician:

  • Mood Swings
  • Inappropriate Guilt
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Too Much or Too Little Sleep
  • Lack of Interest in Life
  • Overwhelming Feelings

Remember, if you're experiencing depression, you're not weak or broken - you're going through a very regular emotional experience. The good news is that with proper treatment from your doctor, depression isn't a death sentence. And with HRT and anti-aging treatment for women, depression could be the catalyst you need to enjoy a new lease on life.

 HRT For Women Carlstadt, NJ

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes - they're one of the most well-known symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes are intense, sudden feelings of heat across a woman's upper body. Some last second, while others last minutes, making them incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable for most women.

Symptoms of hot flashes include:

  • Sudden, Overwhelming Feeling of Heat
  • Anxiety
  • High Heart Rate
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Typically, hot flashes are caused by a lack of estrogen. Low estrogen levels negatively affect a woman's hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls body temperature and appetite. Low estrogen levels cause the hypothalamus to incorrectly assume the body is too hot, dilating blood vessels to increase blood flow. Luckily, most women don't have to settle for the uncomfortable feelings that hot flashes cause. HRT treatments for women often stabilize hormones, lessening the effects of hot flashes and menopause in general.

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Mood Swings

Mood swings are common occurrences for most people - quick shifts from happy to angry and back again, triggered by a specific event. And while many people experience mood swings, they are particularly common for women going through menopause. That's because, during menopause, the female's hormones are often imbalanced. Hormone imbalances and mood swings go hand-in-hand, resulting in frequent mood changes and even symptoms like insomnia.

The rate of production of estrogen, a hormone that fluctuates during menopause, largely determines the rate of production the hormone serotonin, which regulates mood, causing mood swings.

Luckily, HRT and anti-aging treatments in Carlstadt, NJ for women work wonders for mood swings by regulating hormone levels like estrogen. With normal hormone levels, women around the world are now learning that they don't have to settle for mood swings during menopause.

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Weight Gain

Staying fit and healthy is hard for anyone living in modern America. However, for women with hormone imbalances during perimenopause or menopause, weight gain is even more serious. Luckily, HRT treatments for women coupled with a physician-led diet can help keep weight in check. But which hormones need to be regulated?

  • Estrogen: During menopause, estrogen levels are depleted. As such, the body must search for other sources of estrogen. Because estrogen is stored in fat, your body believes it should increase fat production during menopause. Estrogen also plays a big part in insulin resistance, which can make it even harder to lose weight and keep it off.
  • Progesterone: Progesterone levels are also depleted during menopause. Progesterone depletion causes bloating and water retention, while loss of testosterone limits the body's ability to burn calories.
  • Ongoing Stress: Stress makes our bodies think that food is hard to come by, putting our bodies in "survival mode". When this happens, cortisol production is altered. When cortisol timing changes, the energy in the bloodstream is diverted toward making fat. With chronic stress, this process repeatedly happens, causing extensive weight gain during menopause.
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Low Libido

Lowered sexual desire - three words most men and women hate to hear. Unfortunately, for many women in perimenopausal and menopausal states, it's just a reality of life. Thankfully, today, HRT and anti-aging treatments Carlstadt, NJ can help women maintain a normal, healthy sex drive. But what causes low libido in women, especially as they get older?

The hormones responsible for low libido in women are progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.

Progesterone production decreases during perimenopause, causing low sex drive in women. Lower progesterone production can also cause chronic fatigue, weight gain, and other symptoms. On the other hand, lower estrogen levels during menopause lead to vaginal dryness and even vaginal atrophy or loss of muscle tension.

Lastly, testosterone plays a role in lowered libido. And while testosterone is often grouped as a male hormone, it contributes to important health and regulatory functionality in women. A woman's testosterone serves to heighten sexual responses and enhances orgasms. When the ovaries are unable to produce sufficient levels of testosterone, it often results in a lowered sex drive.

 Hormone Replacement Carlstadt, NJ

Vaginal Dryness

Often uncomfortable and even painful, vaginal dryness is a serious problem for sexually active women. However, like hair loss in males, vaginal dryness is very common - almost 50% of women suffer from it during menopause.

Getting older is just a part of life, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for the side effects. HRT and anti-aging treatments for women correct vaginal dryness by re-balancing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When supplemented with diet and healthy living, your vagina's secretions are normalized, causing discomfort to recede.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Carlstadt, NJ

Fibroids

Uterine fibroids - they're perhaps the least-known symptom of menopause and hormone imbalances in women. That's because these growths on the uterus are often symptom-free. Unfortunately, these growths can be cancerous, presenting a danger for women as they age.

Many women will have fibroids at some point. Because they're symptomless, they're usually found during routine doctor exams. Some women only get one or two, while others may have large clusters of fibroids. Because fibroids are usually caused by hormone imbalances, hysterectomies have been used as a solution, forcing women into early menopause.

Advances in HRT and anti-aging medicine for women give females a safer, non-surgical option without having to experience menopause early. At Global Life Rejuvenation, our expert physicians will implement a customized HRT program to stabilize your hormones and reduce the risk of cancerous fibroid growth.

 HRT For Men Carlstadt, NJ

Endometriosis

Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS, and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.

Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.

Xenoestrogen is a hormone that is very similar to estrogen. Too much xenoestrogen is thought to stimulate endometrial tissue growth. HRT for women helps balance these hormones and, when used with a custom nutrition program, can provide relief for women across the U.S.

 Sermorelin Carlstadt, NJ

What is Sermorelin?

Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.

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Benefits of Sermorelin

Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.

  • Benefits of Sermorelin include:
  • Better Immune Function
  • Improved Physical Performance
  • More Growth Hormone Production
  • Less Body Fat
  • Build More Lean Muscle
  • Better Sleep
 Hormone Replacement Carlstadt, NJ

What is Ipamorelin?

Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.

Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Carlstadt, NJ

Benefits of Ipamorelin

One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies. Ipamorelin can boost a patient's overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life.

When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits. Some of those benefits include:

  • Powerful Anti-Aging Properties
  • More Muscle Mass
  • Less Unsightly Body Fat
  • Deep, Restful Sleep
  • Increased Athletic Performance
  • More Energy
  • Less Recovery Time for Training Sessions and Injuries
  • Enhanced Overall Wellness and Health
  • No Significant Increase in Cortisol

Your New, Youthful Lease on Life with HRT for Women

Whether you are considering our HRT and anti-aging treatments for women in Carlstadt, NJ, we are here to help. The first step to reclaiming your life begins by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation. Our friendly, knowledgeable HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!

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Latest News in Carlstadt, NJ

A Cut Above: How A Slice of Pizza Has United New Jerseyans For A Common Cause

Federico Castelluccio from "The Sopranos" (left) will be a celebrity judge at the second annual Pizza Bowl. The event is hosted by Jersey Pizza Joints, a Facebook page founded by Guy Madsen (right)CARLSTADT, NJ — It’s no secret New Jerseyans take their pizza seriously.Take one look at Gov. Murphy’s Twitter page, and you’ll see he is currently embroiled in a tongue-in-cheek social media battle with Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont over which state has the best slice.Ask anyone...

Federico Castelluccio from "The Sopranos" (left) will be a celebrity judge at the second annual Pizza Bowl. The event is hosted by Jersey Pizza Joints, a Facebook page founded by Guy Madsen (right)

CARLSTADT, NJ — It’s no secret New Jerseyans take their pizza seriously.

Take one look at Gov. Murphy’s Twitter page, and you’ll see he is currently embroiled in a tongue-in-cheek social media battle with Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont over which state has the best slice.

Ask anyone on the Jersey Pizza Joints Facebook Page, which has amassed more than 50,000 members since it launched in 2020, and it will most likely be the most common agreement with Gov. Murphy, that Jersey has the best pizza. The founder and creator of the page, Guy Madsen, says behind every pizza is a hardworking family.

“It’s not just about pizza, it's about the people behind the pizza," Madsen said.

"If you think about it, Jersey is the Napa Valley of pizza. We are to pizza what Napa Valley is to wine, maybe Central Jersey would be more Sonoma Valley. But the body of work is, we just have the best pizza. If your pizza isn’t from Jersey it probably sucks," he added.

Madsen started the Facebook group at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. He left his home in North Jersey to spend time and quarantine at his beach house in South Seaside Park. It was soon after he realized that, with restaurants shutting down and with few deliveries, he was not just missing his favorite pizza joints, but also the connection with friends, neighbors, and the community.

“There’s a little Jersey attitude," Madsen says of the Facebook group.

"We’re pretty renowned for Jersey attitude but that being said, we moderate pretty aggressively. Anything political, people vanish. It’s not a political forum. Any disrespect or threats, we tend to suspend or whack, as we call it, any bad behavior," he said. "We try to make it a safe place for people to gather. To share their favorite pizza joint, and most of all their love of all things Jersey."

What initially started as a group of 25 quickly has grown to more than 54,000 members two years later.

“I don’t care what political persuasion you are from. We are very non-political. Everyone can unite around pizza. I just haven’t found a person yet who doesn’t like pizza," he said.

The page does more than tantalize taste buds with conversations and pictures of some of the best looking slices in the state. It also brings people together for a common cause.

This Saturday, February 5, Jersey Pizza Joints will be hosting its second annual Jersey Pizza Bowl at Redd’s Restaurant and Biergarten at the Meadowlands.

At the event, 32 pizza restaurants will compete and 220 judges will decide who gets to take home the trophy for the best pizza and meatballs in New Jersey. The sold-out event will also feature giveaways, live music, and some celebrity judges like actors Federico Castelluccio from "The Sopranos," and Joseph D'Onofrio from "Goodfellas" and "A Bronx Tale."

“Those people are recognizable, the real celebrities that day are the pizza joint owners. The people that bust their hump every day to keep us fed," Madsen said. "And if you think about it, during the pandemic, they really were essential workers. We didn’t want to leave our home, but we asked others to do that. So they not only put themselves at great risk for us, but they helped keep our community together with some sense of normalcy."

As we approach Super Bowl Sunday, Madsen also points out that The Pizza Bowl trophy will be the only trophy handed out in the Meadowlands.

"Eight years ago, the Super Bowl was played in the Meadowlands. The fact that both of our teams are less than good right now, we are the only bowl that will be played in the Meadowlands this February. It’s Pizza Bowl or bust," he said.

Madsen and his group wanted to honor first responders 20 years after the September 11 attacks, and were given an opportunity to do a pizza crawl in Seaside Heights. The group raised $5,500 for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

They’ll be raising money for the foundation once again Saturday, donating 20% of ticket sales from the Pizza Bowl.

They’re also dedicating the event to the memory of Jersey City Fire Department Capt. Mark Lee, who lost his life due to a 9/11-related illness.

"It’s the best charitable organization not only for our veterans, but our first responders that have been critically injured to the point where their quality of life isn’t there," Madsen said. "The more I’ve gotten to know them the more I’m humbled to be raising money for these good folks.”

"And Pizza is a uniting topic. It’s something we can all agree upon," he said.

NJ sets COVID record for third straight day as omicron plays havoc with holiday plans

New Jersey set a record for new COVID infections for a third straight day on Friday, announcing 15,630 additional confirmed cases as a late-year surge continued to wreak havoc ahead of Christmas.The new cases eclipsed Thursday's record of 15,482, itself a big jump over Wednesday's 9,711, according to state Department of Health data. Confirmed cases have skyrocketed this wee...

New Jersey set a record for new COVID infections for a third straight day on Friday, announcing 15,630 additional confirmed cases as a late-year surge continued to wreak havoc ahead of Christmas.

The new cases eclipsed Thursday's record of 15,482, itself a big jump over Wednesday's 9,711, according to state Department of Health data.

Confirmed cases have skyrocketed this week as the highly contagious omicron variant raced through the population and residents rushed to get tested ahead of travel plans and holiday gatherings. Many spent the week rambling through long lines and high waiting times at testing sites around New Jersey.

Reported hospitalizations also rose on Friday, to 2,366. That was still a far cry from the height of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 when admissions surpassed 8,000 a day and hundreds were dying. Twenty-seven COVID deaths were reported on Friday.

While case numbers are climbing, comparisons are tricky as testing options were more limited earlier in the pandemic. It's also unclear how much omicron is driving the latest increase, since state data on particular variants typically lags weeks behind the daily case numbers.

Whatever the cause, ripples of the surge could be felt across the state. Dozens of flights were delayed and canceled at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday, as labor shortages due to increased infections compounded weather problems for airlines.

More than 2,500 commercial flights were canceled Christmas Day, according to FlightAware. A large share of the flights, more than 1,000, were canceled by Chinese airlines. About 300 were canceled by Delta, 250 by United and another 125 by JetBlue, the flight tracking website reported.

Another nearly 5,000 flights in the U.S. were delayed.

Christmas Day is one of the lightest travel days of the holiday travel rush. JetBlue is also having issues: 72 Christmas Eve flights were canceled, or 7% of its scheduled flights.

Delta said late Friday morning that it expects the cancellations to continue into Sunday, a busy travel day ahead of the new work week.

In Morristown and Newark, officials announced indoor masking and vaccination requirements to try to limit the spread. Meanwhile, RWJ Barnabas, one of the largest healthcare systems in the state, said it will limit patient visitors in its hospitals and other medical facilities starting Sunday.

As of Friday, the state had recorded more than 1.2 million cumulative COVID-19 cases and 25,888 confirmed deaths.

There have been 12,902,697 vaccination doses administered in the state. As a result, 6,177,157 people are fully vaccinated.

This article contains material from USA Today.

Daniel Sforza is the Executive Editor of The Record and NorthJersey.com. He can be reached at [email protected]

Citlalli Godinez is a local news reporter covering Southern NJ: Rutherford, East Rutherford, Lyndhurst, North Arlington, and Carlstadt. She can be reached at [email protected]

Lion Brand Yarn Outlet shutting in Carlstadt, leaving knitters bereft

CARLSTADT — For more than a decade, knitting and crocheting fanatics have walked its aisles of large bins filled with a vast variety of yarn in all textures and colors. But the Lion Brand Yarn Outlet will soon be closing, shutting down a small sanctuary for those devoted to needlework."We will miss each of you," the store told its customers via Facebook after it announced its closing in December.For customer Darlene Dove, the Lion Brand outlet is closing too soon."This is only my secon...

CARLSTADT — For more than a decade, knitting and crocheting fanatics have walked its aisles of large bins filled with a vast variety of yarn in all textures and colors. But the Lion Brand Yarn Outlet will soon be closing, shutting down a small sanctuary for those devoted to needlework.

"We will miss each of you," the store told its customers via Facebook after it announced its closing in December.

For customer Darlene Dove, the Lion Brand outlet is closing too soon.

"This is only my second time coming here, and I'm sad to see it go," said Dove. "I have a knitting and crochet group in the Bronx, and this is where I get all my materials."

"This is about the saddest thing I've read," one customer commented on the outlet's Facebook announcement.

The outlet center was the last brick-and-mortar outpost for the Carlstadt-based Lion Brand company, which was founded in 1878 and soon began to make its mark in the fashion world. Vanna White was briefly a spokesperson for the brand, according to its website.

It opened a flagship store, the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, in Manhattan in 2008. That store closed in April 2020.

Carlstadt:Factory faces possible fine of nearly $130K for exposing workers to chemicals

Today, Lion Bran yarns are sold online and in craft chains including Michael's and Jo-Ann stores, discount chains and independent stores. It is the leading distributor of knitting and craft yarn in the U.S.

The outlet store on Kero Road in Carlstadt is expected to close for good in late March, although there is no set date. A notice advises customers to call before coming.

The store has inventory marked down 50% and features "three to a pack" or any three packs of yarn at a discount.

Lexa Mingo took advantage of the store-closing prices on Thursday to stockpile some supplies. "Projects can get pricey, especially now, and half-price is incredible," said Mingo.

The outlet is currently open limited hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

After Feb. 13, days will be cut back. Check the Lion Brand Outlet Facebook page for last-minute changes.

Maruca's crowned pizza king at second annual New Jersey Pizza Bowl

In the end, there could be only one.There are some 2,200 pizza joints in New Jersey, and after three months of competing, one emerged as Jersey Pizza Joints' pizza king for 2022.Judges on Saturday at Redd's Biergarten in Carlstadt picked Maruca’s of Seaside Heights and Asbury Park.“I am stunned," said Domenic A. Maruca, who has been making pizza for 50 years and said his family has been in the pizza business since 1950. “This is going to help us build our business, and we plan to giv...

In the end, there could be only one.

There are some 2,200 pizza joints in New Jersey, and after three months of competing, one emerged as Jersey Pizza Joints' pizza king for 2022.

Judges on Saturday at Redd's Biergarten in Carlstadt picked Maruca’s of Seaside Heights and Asbury Park.

“I am stunned," said Domenic A. Maruca, who has been making pizza for 50 years and said his family has been in the pizza business since 1950. “This is going to help us build our business, and we plan to give back to the community."

Story continues after gallery

The atmosphere was a pizza party on steroids as hundreds were crammed into Redd’s, drinking beer and wine and eating pizza and meatballs.

Meatballs? A new event was added to the event this year: New Jersey’s best meatballs.

Taking home JPJ’s first meatball prize was PizzAmore Italian Kitchen of Carlstadt.

”I am very surprised,” said owner John Speciale. “I got great people working with me, and we are all excited.”

Saturday's event wasn’t for the faint of stomach but required hundreds of judges, by and large members of the Jersey Pizza Joints Facebook group. Five grueling rounds tested the palates of pizza aficionados.

How do you judge the perfect pizza pie?:In New Jersey, that's a tough choice

From thin-crust to Neapolitan:Your ultimate North Jersey pizza guide

Sixteen of the most esteemed pizza joints — four from each region, North, South, Central and the Shore — competed on Saturday.

The four regional winners then engaged in a final throw-down.

The 16 pizza makers competing at Redd's were:

North

Central

South

Shore

Celebrity judges, hard-core pizza guys and a smattering of local character actors, Alex Corrado, Federico Castelluccio and Joe D'Onofrio, picked their favorite pies.

Compared with the first year's contest, held at Redd's Biergarten in New Brunswick, this year's contest was more organized and had way more to offer.

Mozzarella makers and other purveyors of pizza paraphernalia were on hand to create a carnival atmosphere.

The voting began in late fall when the 50,000-plus members of the Jersey Pizza Joints Facebook group were asked to vote for their favorite places.

They narrowed the field to 200 from each region. A few weeks later the field was narrowed to 32, then 18, eight and the final four from each region.

There were some surprises, including that last year’s winner, Pizza Terminal of Verona, didn’t make the final cut.

Owner Scott Rafferty said, just before this year's voting began, that winning the first Pizza Bowl put his shop on the map.

"I got people in from Cherry Hill, Albany, even California who said they wanted to try our No. 1 pie," Rafferty said. "Sometimes I have people waiting to come in when I open."

That was the point of creating Jersey Pizza Joints, said Guy Madsen, a Clifton resident who started the Facebook group with 25 of his buddies during the claustrophobic early days of the pandemic, while holed up in his Seaside Heights shore house.

The goal was to help the mom-and-pop pizza joints get through an epic lockdown, Madsen said.

He hit a nerve — or perhaps a taste bud — because a group that began with about two dozen members has grown to 54,600 members from 99 countries.

Jerseyans are passionate about their pizza, and for many their local pizzeria is both a source of comfort food and a point of culinary pride.

”I always say North Jersey is like the Napa Valley for pizza,” Madsen said. “Central Jersey and the Shore are like Sonoma.”

South Jersey has its own style, like tomato pies, he added.

Although there could be only one winner of the second annual Jersey Pizza Bowl, the real winners are the members of Jersey Pizza Joints' Facebook group and the pizza parlors that New Jerseyans frequent.

"Our love of pizza is the one thing we can agree on," Madsen said.

Matt Fagan is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Jersey Pizza Bowl 2: And the Winner Is…

In January of last year, I wrote about Jersey Pizza Joints (JPJ), a Facebook group created by New Jersey native Guy Madsen. At the time of publication, the page was on the verge of surpassing 10,000 followers. Fast forward 13 months—and hundreds of uploaded pictures of the Garden State’s finest pizzas—and JPJ is about to crack 55,000 followers.What started out as a fun place ...

In January of last year, I wrote about Jersey Pizza Joints (JPJ), a Facebook group created by New Jersey native Guy Madsen. At the time of publication, the page was on the verge of surpassing 10,000 followers. Fast forward 13 months—and hundreds of uploaded pictures of the Garden State’s finest pizzas—and JPJ is about to crack 55,000 followers.

What started out as a fun place for amateur critics to talk about their favorite food and often debate what’s well-done versus what’s burned has evolved into something much greater. Scores of small pizzerias have benefited from the extra attention they’ve received from the Facebook group. This attention has made a monetary difference during the pandemic as well.

In addition, through JPJ, Madsen has helped raise thousands of dollars of donations for the Tunnels to Towers Foundation (T2T), a 501(c)3 created to help first responders. “Helping small businesses and giving back to those who help us is what really matters,” Madsen told me. “And to do it with our great Jersey pizzas, well, that just makes it more enjoyable.”

This past weekend, Jersey Pizza Joint’s second annual Pizza Bowl took place at Redd’s Biergarten, in Carlstadt, NJ, in the shadow of MetLife Stadium. Thanks to the growing popularity of the group—and perhaps with the addition of a meatball competition—attendance increased fivefold from the inaugural event.

Four regions of semifinalists representing the state’s North, South, Jersey Shore and Central—yes there IS a Central New Jersey—served up their best plain cheese slices and meatballs to discerning judges who purchased tickets to vote for the finalists.

Advancing to the final in their respective regions:

As the house band, Aloha Monkey, jammed out, a carnival-like atmosphere of acrobatic pizza tossing, ice sculptures, and fresh-“mootz”-making classes, from Annabella’s House of Mozzarella kept the crowd busy and entertained in between judging. Meanwhile, behind the swinging door, the Redd’s kitchen was packed with world-class pizzaiolos busy working their tails off for the finale.

The final round was an invitation-only list of judges, local pizza experts The Pizza Hulk and Johnny C “The Pizza Guy,” as well as actors Joey D’Onofrio, Alex Corrado, and Frederico Castellucio. Castellucio, often recognized as Furio on The Sopranos, took the judging very seriously, pointing out to me, “I believe this sauce has added sugar,” as he marked his scorecard.

The VIPs ultimately crowned Maruca’s Tomato Pies as Best Pizza in Pizza Bowl 2. Domenic Maruca told NorthJersey.com reporter Matt Fagan he was “stunned to win.”

As the event’s official vote counter, I can tell you that all of the pizza finalists received a significant amount of shared love, with the Seaside Heights landmark ultimately taking the crown. The title of Best Meatballs, however, was a landslide victory for John Speciale, of PizzAmore Italian Kitchen, in Carlstadt. The charismatic Speciale walked to the stage to a chorus of “meatball Johnny” chants and seemed genuinely humbled. “I am very surprised to win,” he said, proudly raising his trophy.

Pizza Bowl 2 was dedicated to the memory of Captain Mark Lee, of the Jersey City Fire Department. In 2014, Lee succumbed to an illness directly related to working near the fallen towers following 9/11. His wife, Cheryl Lee, attended, along with several firefighters from his department for a brief ceremony in his honor.

The idea behind the old adage “it takes a village” has never been truer. The success of Guy Madsen’s Pizza Bowl vision is the direct result of teamwork from friends, family, and a Carlstadt restaurant full of pizza lovers (not to mention all the nominees willing to leave their restaurants during the Saturday night rush). Kudos to this year’s winners. I look forward to seeing if they can repeat at next year’s Pizza Bowl 3!

Photos courtesy of Johnny C “The Pizza Guy” and Adam Horvath.

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