Recent finds from TJ’s, Whole Foods, and TJ Maxx

I have gone grocery shopping on three separate occassions this week (as opposed to one or two). First, I went to Trader Joe’s to stock up on some staples but also picked up some new things. Then I went to Whole Foods to get some stuff for my foodie pen pal and got some new products for myself too. And then finally, I also made a trip to TJ Maxx to check out what new products they have in store. Here’s some of the new things I bought:

I ran out of cinnamon (Whole Foods) because I almost eat it by the spoonful, haha. Then I found some recipes that call for garlic powder (TJ’s) and basil (TJ Maxx for $3.99) so I got that too, I’m trying to make more “grown up” meals, not just sweet treats so I need more grown up spices too. My mom uses Turmeric (Whole Foods) in eggs and when sauteeing onions and it gives them a great flavor, plus it is super good for you. I decided to follow suit.

From Trader Joe’s, I got The Chunky Spicy Guacamole (yummy! and only 40 cal per 2 Tbsp), Nonfat cottage cheese and these Mahi Mahi burgers that Katie was talking about. You’re right, Katie, those rock!

From Whole Foods, I got a bunch of stuff for myself! Every trip there is so exciting, too bad most of the stuff is out of my price range though. Anyway, I was amazed at the variety of pastas they have there — I’m trying to include more pastas into my life because I’m truthfully pretty terrified of eating them but this Quinoa Pasta¬†elbows looks awesome! I’m excited to try it out and I already know what recipe I’m using it for. I also decided to finally give in and buy a packet of Justin’s nut butter – chocolate hazelnut baby. We’ll see how similar it tastes to Nutella. Then I fond Arrowhead Mills Organic Sprouted Wheat Flour which is AWESOME because whole wheat flour is still highly processed and sprouted is always better for you ūüôā Great find. Finally, I found this Fat Flush Plan 100% flourless tortillas which are sprouted again and only 80 calories per tortilla. Perfect! They taste really good too!

My TJ Maxx trip was a bit more disappointing than I expected. I really wanted to find another cute ramekin to add to the one I already have but I didn’t find ANY at this store. I did manage to score these Bare Fruit Apple chips for $1.99 which are 100% organic and bake-dried. Then I found this adorable mug which I am planning on using as a ramekin anyway (versatility! and it’s just as big as my ramekin, so ha!) then I was happy to find these 90 degree¬†shorts for my (hopefully) future outdoor jogs and runs and a medium resistance tubing. The light one I have from ChaLean Extreme’s program is already too easy for me. Gotta step it up ūüôā

Hope you guys have a great rest of your Sunday!

Question of the day:

  • What’s your favorite thing you bought this week?

Energy Bar Wars: Which energy bars are the best?

I’m not a big candy bar eater. I have read about energy bars from many fellow health & food bloggers though and I became curious. I usually prefer to have real meals for my breakfast and lunch, I usually don’t opt to energy bars. Why not, though, I thought? Maybe there are some good ones out there. I though I would give it a shot. So I went to Trader Joe’s and picked up one of each over a course of few weeks and decided to compare all of the energy bars I found appealing or was curious about. These are all my thoughts and they might obviously be rated differently by different people. I know there are people out there that think “which energy or protein bar is the best for me?” or “which energy bar or protein bar tastes the best?” I know I asked myself that question. I don’t want to be stuck eating cardboard. I also don’t want to make the mistake of eating an energy bar thinking it’s healthy when it’s really not. So here is my mission: Comparing all different energy bars that Trader Joe’s offers.

Ratings are all out of 5 stars. They are rated based on the flavor indicated. I realize that some flavors might be better than others. If there are any brands of the bars that you think taste much better in a different flavor, don’t hesitate to let me know – I’d be open to trying it out and possibly re-evaluating the product.

These are my own opinions, for my own reference. Based on taste and nutrition combined. Not out to trash talk any company or sweet talk anyone either.

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Trader Joe’s grocery trip

Today was laundry and grocery day. It was about time to get some spring cleaning done. The fridge definitely needed refilling also. Trader Joe’s is my absolute favorite grocery store ever. Not only does it have a lot of various healthy and organic products, they are also very affordable. Some of the stuff is cheaper than Jewel or Dominick’s.

From left to right: Greek style Nonfat Plain Yogurt (Greek style makes it much higher in protein and lower in sugar than regular nonfat yogurt. I buy plain for its versatility – I use it instead of sour cream or add honey to sweeten it and eat it with fruit), Quick Whites 100% Liquid Egg Whites¬†(I eat this almost every day for breakfast. They are very low calorie and high in protein), Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla (this almond milk is very low in calories and it doesn’t taste bad. Some people say it doesn’t taste like anything, but I’ve gotten used to the taste and enjoy it now. I use it with cereal or in protein shakes), Habanero and Lime salsa (one of my favorite salsas – the lime gives it a kick, which makes it more fun than regular salsa), Newton’s Folly (only my second time trying this, but I’ve been having a hard cider craving lately. Probably because of the beautiful weather), Organic Light String Cheese¬†(I use this for my omelettes – I cut one cheese in half and string it up much like shredded cheese. Doing this allows me to be sure with the exact amount of calories I am consuming from cheese rather than guessing. Also the individually wrapped pieces last longer than if I were to open a shredded cheese bag – I usually don’t have enough time to eat the whole bag before it goes bad. Once you open a bag, it goes bad quickly), Big & Chunky Unsweetened Applesauce¬†(the most delicious appleasauce. It has big apple chunks and I eat it with yogurt and cinnamon).

Garden Vegetable Lasagne¬†(I actually haven’t tried this one yet, but it looks good and it’s high in protein), Grilled Eggplant Menage¬†(this one is simply delicious! It has a little bit of cheese in it which makes it feel like a full meal. I don’t eat anything with it. It’s good on its own), Very Cherry Berry Blend¬†(my favorite berry blend because of the cherries. Delicious), Berry Medley¬†(yes, I usually buy two different types of berry medleys to mix it up. I use frozen berries a lot in my yogurt to make it into a healthy yogurt parfait with low sugar cereal or granola), Tomato & Basil Pizza Burger¬†(I don’t eat it very often but sometimes I feel like a quick lower calorie burger, and this one tastes good).¬†

100 calorie 70% dark chocolate bars. This isn’t the only chocolate product I buy, but it happened to be it this time around. I love chocolate, I can’t help it.

What are some of your favorite Trader Joe’s products?