groceries

What I Ate Wednesday: back in business

The past two days have been “stock up on food and quit spending money at restaurants” central.

Haha good joke — I’ll keep spending money at restaurants but a girl can dream of a world where her kitchen is better than a restaurant, right?

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Highlights included:

  • Vegetables: peppers, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, avocado
  • Fruit: kiwi, apples, bananas, grapes
  • Frozen: spinach, Morningstar veggie sausage, shrimp, whole wheat bread and English muffins (I keep them in the freezer because I don’t go through them very fast)
  • Fridge: eggs, coffee creamer, minced garlic, salsa, Chobani 4% plain yogurt, Chobani key lime and coconut yogurt, raspberry jam, turkey deli meat
  • Pantry: peanut butter, black beans, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, Parma Rosa sauce mix, whole grain tortilla chips
  • Spices: cinnamon, bay leaves, paprika, tabasco sauce

Is my grocery haul usually this big? Nope. But by some grace of God I ran out of staples like peanut butter, jelly, creamer, eggs, etc. all at the same time. So it was quite the loot! But my eats recently have benefited from all the effort I gave at the grocery store.

And with that, my first WIAW in…..what, four months? Not cool! So let’s walk through my Tuesday eats.

WIAW

I woke up and had half a cup of coffee with half and half and stevia. My body and brain just can’t handle a full cup of coffee anymore!

Breakfast

After seeing what Kathie Lee and Hoda were up to and answering some emails/working on blog stuff, I started on breakfast.

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Egg sandwich: 1 egg, a few egg whites, onion powder, red pepper flakes, spinach and Parmesan cheese, plus a piece of veggie sausage and raspberry jam. SO GOOD.

I headed to work early to do a little shopping and add to my rapidly expanding lululemon collection. Hey, when you work there, it not only becomes justifiable, but necessary. I put together my lunch and snacks before I left because I knew I wouldn’t be home until around 10pm — food prep is so helpful to not only stay on track, but also to keep myself from eating out.

My break came at around 4pm, so a little later than usual. I snacked on some unpictured almonds while I worked and then finally it was “lunch” time (when I work the closing shift my day is pushed back a lot, so my breakfast usually is around 10 or 11, snack around 2 and then lunch around 4).

Lunch was what I like to call a “snack pack”:

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4% plain Chobani with grapes and stevia, a mini Luna bar, some carrots and sugar snap peas and a kiwi. I also packed some Skoop protein + almond milk but completely forgot about it.

As soon as work was over I scrambled to take a Hot Power Fusion yoga class at Corepower Yoga with my roommate, Colleen. I didn’t get a picture of the before, during or after (which, to be honest, is probably best, seeing as we were both sloppy messes by the time the class was over), but I’ll share a few photos from my Monday workout instead. I woke up bright and early to attend Sweat on State, where we got our sprints, ball slams, and triceps push-ups on. KILL ME NOW. My triceps still hate me from that workout.unnamed (52)

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The instructor was able to catch me mid-triceps push-up. I wish you could see my face here because it was pure agony.

I finished in just under 25 minutes. Normally I would never think 25 minutes is enough. But I literally lay on the floor after that workout in so much pain and I couldn’t wait to get back home and crawl into bed. Sometimes, 25 minutes of pushing yourself to the max is enough. I love Sweat on State more and more each time I go — I’m starting to build a great fitness family there and really appreciate not only the intensity and variety of the workouts, but the sense of community that exists there.

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Flashforward to yesterday’s workout — Colleen and I ended up getting home around 10pm, and just as I imagined, I was famished. I made the quickest, most appealing dinner I could think of:

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Whole wheat toast with tonnnnns of peanut butter, sliced banana and cinnamon

Now it’s late and this Cinderella needs to get to sleep before the clock strikes 12. I’m about to grab a few handfuls of chocolate chips, some carrots and a cheese stick (because I’m always hungry), and head to bed. It was quite the full day and I’m ready for some zzzzs.

Questions:

  • What was the best thing you ate yesterday?
  • What was the laziest meal you’ve made lately?
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Trader Joe’s Love

Who doesn’t love Trader Joe’s?  If you’re reading blogs like mine, I’m sure you’ve not only heard of Trader Joe’s but you probably have a dysfunctional love and obsession with it.

I don’t live very close to one.  Construction has started in my suburb that “promises” it’ll be here in a year, but they’ve been saying that for awhile so I’m not getting my hopes up.  Hopefully I’ll have moved to Chicago permanently at that point and then I’ll be able to walk to one all the time.  The closest Trader Joe’s is about 30 minutes away so it’s sometimes hard to justify driving there when I have 4 decent grocery stores right by me.

On Friday, however, I had the entire afternoon to myself, so I finally decided to make the trek.  I made my list and pumped myself up; to say I was excited was an understatement.

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I strolled the aisles for over an hour by myself, eyeing all the cool new products that TJ’s has to offer.  Yes, I know a lot of their products are just normal, everyday things with creative labels, but whatever. Boo to the naysayers.

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In honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I’d show you the things that I purchased.  I got some standbys (things I know are delicious), new things that looked delicious, and a hell of a lot of chocolate.

If you make your way to TJ’s definitely grab some of these picks!

ImageCilantro salad dressing–perfect for Mexican stir frys or salads

Spicy peanut vinaigrette–I’ve actually never had this before but other bloggers seem to love it. It seems like it would make a great addition to a Thai-inspired salad or cold peanut noodle dish.

Parmesan ranch dressing–great dipping sauce for chicken. Also the perfect salad dressing when you’re in the mood for something a little more decadent-tasting.

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Eggplant cutlets–absolutely delicious and makes a much healthier eggplant parmesan.

White cheddar corn puffs–Pirate’s Booty, but cheaper 🙂

Ginger cat cookies–Dad’s favorite!

Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce–we used this sauce when I was in DC to make a homemade salad dressing. Paired with balsamic vinegar and olive oil it was simple but so flavorful.  It reminded me a lot of the standard salad dressing in Paris.  We all loved it!

Basil Pesto–because you can never go wrong having pesto in your pantry.

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Mango chunks–I’ve already added these to plain greek yogurt and they’re so yummy.  Plus they’re relatively inexpensive and will last a long time in the freezer.

Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip–this caught my eye in the store and (confession) 24 hours later it’s already halfway gone. SO GOOD. If you go to TJ’s you MUST buy this stuff!

Just Almond Meal–I’ve been looking to make some new recipes with almond meal instead of flour. My brother has a wheat sensitivity so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try a few new dessert recipes with this stuff, especially since other people have had a lot of success with it.

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Roasted gorgonzola crackers–already tried them with the spinach dip. They’re great!

Cowboy caviar–I can’t wait to give this a try. It seems like it would be a great addition to a taco salad or simply as a snack with tortilla chips. It looks much more filling than regular salsa.

TJ’s bold and smoky bbq sauce–I love Sweet Baby Ray’s to the ends of the earth, but I just can’t get the thought of all its high fructose corn syrup out of my head. I’ve been trying to find a nearly identical replacement, so I decided to give this one a try.

TJ’s cold brewed coffee–Well right off the bat I can’t tell you how much money I’ll be saving with this stuff. It’s smooth, bold, and makes perfect iced coffee. The bottle alone was only around $3 and it’ll make me a week’s worth of iced coffee. Starbucks eat your heart out!

And last but certainly not least: the CHOCOLATE! 🙂

ImageYes I agree I went a little overboard but I promise I’ll try to maintain portion control with these bad boys.

Milk chocolate covered toffee popcorn–NO WORDS. indescribably amazing.

Sea salt butterscotch caramels–I haven’t opened these yet but I’m hoping they taste as good as they sound! Lovvvvve me some sea salt caramel.

Yogurt and chocolate covered raisins–pretty standard, but I love these kinds of raisins so I figured why not! Also I’m planning on making my own trail mix this week so these will make a great addition.

Well that’s the list! As usual I came home with a diverse bunch of groceries from Trader Joe’s to try, as well as my regular purchases. And as usual, TJ didn’t charge me an arm and a leg.  Successful Friday to say the least!

Questions: Do you have a TJ’s near you? What’s your favorite thing from there?