Trader Joe’s Haul

A few months ago a new Trader Joe’s opened up relatively close to me, in Dewitt, NY. My best friend and I finally got our sh** together and made a trip up there. This was my second time going to Trader Joe’s so I was only slightly overwhelmed. I also went prepared with a list of things I had tried and wanted, as well as suggestions I found googling “trader joe’s favorites”.

Here’s what I got (In no particular order):

Alkaline Water water

I’ve been wanting to try alkaline water for a while now, and at the price TJ’s was offering, I figured now was a good time to try some.

Coconut Oil Sprayoil spray

Simple – non stick cooking spray, but coconut oil. I could probably find this anywhere else also, but why not pick it up here!

coconut milkCanned Light Coconut Milk

I like adding coconut milk to my smoothies in the morning, and canned always seems to taste better than carton. These were $1 each, so I picked up 2.

chocolateDark Chocolate Bar 

(To prevent myself from buying one of the large tubs of peanut butter cups or chocolate covered anything)

teaVanilla & Cinnamon Black Tea

I’ve heard good things about TJ’s tea, and this was one of the seasonal options.

orange chickenMandarin Orange Chicken

I’ve heard amazing things about this stuff, so I’m hoping it lives up to it’s expectations.

tikka masalaChicken Tikka Masala

I’ve also heard good things about this stuff. And I love the stuff I’ve gotten from Indian Restaurants, so hopefully this is a good alternative.

brussel sproutsShaved Brussels Sprouts

I like brussels sprouts, but I don’t like the size they are (I know, I’m weird). So I’ve heard the shaved ones from TJ’s are good. I’m planning on roasting these with olive oil, salt, and garlic I think.

chips

Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

Need I say anything about these?

Ready to Bake Pizza Doughpizza dough

I’ve heard this is good. I plan on using it to make homemade pizza.

bananasGone Bananas (chocolate covered bananas)

These are a staple. I love them. I like making my own at home, but these are cheap so they’re worth picking up when I make the trip to TJ’s.

muffinsBanana Chocolate Chunk Muffins (Protein!)

I picked these up on a whim. I hope they taste good. I love banana chocolate chip muffins, so as long as the added protein doesn’t throw the flavor off, these should be good!

srirachaTJ’s Brand Sriracha Sauce

I like Sriracha. And thought I’d grab a bottle to bring into work for all those times I want hot sauce.

Sweet Chili Saucesweet chili

I love sweet chili sauce. Hopefully TJ’s will be delicious.

trail mixBreakfast Trek Mix (single serve bags)

I love trail mix. But I eat the whole bag. So these are good to grab one and bring to work to eat for a snack. And if I only have one on hand, I can’t eat the whole bag.

ginger snapsTriple Ginger Snaps

These are said to be delicious. I love ginger snaps, and these have 3 kinds of ginger: crystalized, ground, and puree.

Avocadosavocados

These are cheap at TJ’s. And I need them to make smoothies, so I grabbed a bag.

What are your Trader Joe’s must-haves?

What do you recommend for others to try?

Any HORRIBLE products you’ve tried??

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Easy, Healthy Snacks/Lunches to Go

Changing from working 8 hour days to 12 hours days means changing my eating schedule. I’ve gotten comfortable eating every couple hours, and having time for lunch. However, a busier unit and longer day means I need to start consider snacks and foods I can bring with me, and eat quickly.
I’ve found a few awesome blogs with ideas, some with just pictures and some with ingredient lists as well. Fortunately, I eat like a kid (little bits – but often, and very simple foods) so school lunch posts are perfect. Foods like fruit, string cheese, cheez-it’s, sandwiches and wraps – those are my jam. So, here’s some awesome ideas I’ve found from a couple different places.

Easy Lunchboxes

This site works really well on my Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 9.17.46 PMiPad in portrait-mode, not so well on my computer screen. But, it’s a collection of pictures of bento boxes, with information on what’s in the picture (in case it’s not clear) underneath. Just an example, here’s #14. I’m not sure if the description is entirely accurate here (it says it’s PB and J on a pita… looks like a cheese quesadilla – I like either!), but it’s got fruit, protein, carbs, and this would be an awesome size for lunch for me.

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I like this site because the ladies searched the web (or pinterest) and found a lot of different and unique ideas, and compiled them into one blog post. I am working on creating a pinterest board of healthy lunch ideas, I’ll get there someday. I like taking bits and pieces from these boxes to make my own lunch. Some are a little stingy and I would need to add more protein but otherwise they look great! (They are meant for kids lunches, to be fair). The picture I chose to share has cucumbers, carrots, crackers, cheese, ham, and fruit, as well as what looks like kind of a treat. I like this box, but I would likely double the amount of food for my lunch , at least the fruit, and add a few more crackers to make cracker sandwiches.

Fitsugar, a website branch from Popsugar has published an awesome list of the best healthy swaps for common lunch-box food. Some may surprise you, like keeping bread in a sandwich vs a wrap (more fiber and protein – if you choose the right bread!), anScreen Shot 2014-08-03 at 9.08.34 PMd some are as simple as getting Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies instead of Goldfish (made with whole-wheat instead of enriched flour). Here’s there chart, because there’s no way I could make it better. And, click on the chart for a link to the full article, and check out the other articles on their page – this is one of my favorite sites for workout and recipe ideas.

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Other foods I’ve seen and would suggest including:

  • hardboiled eggs
  • leftovers from dinner
  • pasta salad
  • mini tacos (cut wheat tortillas into small circles and bake in a muffin tin for a few minutes. Then add lettuce, tomatos, guac, etc for make-your-own)
  • laughing cow cheese/string cheese
  • greek yogurt (my favorite – if you have a way to keep it chilled)
  • For a treat: dark chocolate. Still semi-healthy (especially in moderation), but satisfys that sweet tooth.

And finally, the most important part of healthy lunches, is something to drink. I found that buying a cute water bottle helped encourage me to drink water throughout the day, when otherwise I might not have. I have a multitude of water bottles that I rotate through, to keep myself excited and interested. My favorite – Camelbak Eddy, or my plastic mason jar with a handle that I got from Target for $12. To “spice” things up a bit, I put lemon in my water. Our cafeteria at work has Tru Lemon packets, which are dried, powdered lemon wedges. So, no extra color, flavor, sweetener, and it’s free. I just grab a few when I go down for lunch (the cafeteria has windows so I eat there a lot), and stock up for the next day.

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What do you eat for lunch?

What are some quick, easy lunch suggestions you have?