Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

So Much to Do, So Little Time!

Is tomorrow really already Wednesday?! I am in the midst of an extremely busy week, and it is flying by! Unfortunately, in all the craziness, I’ve been neglecting my little blog here. 😦

I went to Virginia overnight for work over the weekend. Because I flew out so early on Saturday, I had to shift my half marathon training schedule. I pushed out my long run to Sunday. I ran a very painful 10 miles in 1:33:18 – a good pace, but it truly was an ugly run. I was gritting my teeth the whole way. My right knee started screaming at me around mile 2!

I wanted to get back to my regular training schedule this week, but that would have meant running on Monday, the day after my long run. I woke up at 4:30 am and my knee was sending me a very clear message – no running. I ended up waiting until the evening to any exercise. I replaced my scheduled 4-mile run with a 45 minute ride on my Spinning bike. I had a great ride, and my knee felt good since cycling is so low-impact on your joints.

Flash forward to today… I attended day one of a two-day social media marketing workshop in Boston. I wasn’t sure what the food situation was going to be at the conference center, so I made sure to eat a hearty breakfast before I left.

  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal
  • 1 mashed banana
  • raisins
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbs vanilla rice protein powder
  • 1 Tbs TJ’s PB, which was later mixed into the oats

This held me over until lunchtime, when I had a delicious grilled veggie pita at the conference center.

Dinner tonight involved a new to me product – Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs.

These are vegan and have great nutritional stats – 140 calories, 8 g carbs, 16 g protein. I was a little nervous to try these because my only other experience with meatless meatballs was not good. I don’t remember what brand those were though…

I simmered these “meatballs” in TJ’s marinara for about 10 minutes and served mine up over a bed of fresh spinach with a sprinkle of parmesan (to de-veganize the meal!).

My thoughts: Delicious! These were soooo yummy. Not too many spices. The flavor was just right and the texture was great too. Even my little girl ate them! I will definitely be buying these again.

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One more chance to enter my giveaway! I’ll announce the winner in my next post!

The Breakfast Diaries…?

So I’m considering changing the name of my blog to The Breakfast Diaries because I seem to only manage to photograph breakfast each day! [Could it be the makings of a spin-off blog?!] Perhaps it’s because it’s my favorite meal of the day. Or maybe because 6 a.m. (just before hubby and baby get up) is the only time of the day that I’m not running around like a crazy woman. Hmmm…mixture of both I think!

Monday’s breakfast:

Poorly photographed French Toast!

French toast made with 2 slices of Martin’s whole wheat potato bread, topped with Smart Balance Light and ~1/2 a tablespoon of Trader Joe’s maple/agave syrup blend. (I also ate a banana with some almond butter while this was cooking….) This whole wheat potato bread is one of my new foodie favorites! It’s delicious and has phenomenal nutritional states: 70 calories, 1 gram of fat, 14 carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein per slice. Low cal, low carb, high fiber, high protein. Does it get any better than that?!

Tuesday breakfast:

Oat bran with banana, raisins, flax, a little bit of yogurt, and some honey almond butter drizzled on top. The 2 tablespoons of yogurt I stirred in added just a touch of creaminess. To pump up the protein, I also had some scrambled egg whites on the side.

Monday Fitness:

I had planned to go for a run in the morning before work, but I screwed up my alarm clock and overslept a bit. So I headed out at 8 p.m for a 3.5-miler. Running in the dark at night is scary…and dangerous. But it kept me running quickly!

Side note: I registered for another half marathon on Monday! So I’ll be running my first on October 10 and my second 4 weeks later on November 7! So excited.

Tuesday Fitness:

Today was an off day from running, so I had strength training on my agenda. Unfortunately it is ungodly hot today. I still worked out in my living room, but not for very long. The heat is making me ill!

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So in all seriousness, now that I’m getting back to blogging, I feel like my blog may be taking a slightly different direction. When I first started it, I was a brand new mommy, working at home, and then later unemployed. [Read: I had a lot more time on my hands.] The goals behind my blog still hold true, but I feel that, given my new time constraints (exciting career with a long commute) and my new interests (running and fueling before and after my runs), my posts are going to be focused on other things…

Thoughts???

Branching Out

Hey friends! Sorry I’ve been away so long again.

So, one of the greatest things about my new mostly-vegetarian lifestyle is that it has really forced me to branch out and try new recipes. You can’t just eat sauteed veggies every night, right?!

Tonight I tried this great recipe for Southwestern Quinoa with Black Beans. I used red quinoa and a mix of orange and red peppers. For a protein boost, I had some Trader Joe’s chickenless pulled “chicken” with it.

These two went quite well together! The quinoa was delightfully spicy, but not too hot; and substantial, but not too heavy. What a nice change from veggie burgers and sweet potatoes (not that I don’t love that combo!). I will be making this again, for sure.

Do you like quinoa? What’s your favoite way to eat it?

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I have to admit, I’ve been a little – make that A LOT – bored with my Spinning bike lately. I’d much prefer to do a circuit training DVD than ride my bike for 45 minutes. I do need to give my muscles a break from strength training sometimes though. So I forced myself onto my bike tonight. Surprisingly, I really go into it! I think the key was the music. I put on some great music and focused on it – and sang! It was great! 45 minutes was over before I knew it.

How do you keep your workouts fresh?

New-to-Me Goodies!

Yesterday, I did the usual Saturday shopping circuit – Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Stop ‘n’ Shop. Armed with a slew of coupons, I came home with a TON of new-to-me goodies that I’ll be reviewing throughout the week.

Before my shopping extravaganza, I started my day with an old favorite – almond butter, raisins, and banana on a La Tortilla Factory whole wheat tortilla. I warmed this in the micro for 30 seconds, and ate it alongside some eggs – 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg.

This combo never lets me down!

Post-shop, I came home to dig into my new treats. First up, Voskos plain Greek yogurt. I had a $1 off coupon, so this was a bargain at just 99 cents for an 8 oz cup.

I promptly turned it into “chocolate mousse.”

Mixed with 2 packets of Purevia and 1 tbs of cocoa powder

My thoughts?? I loved this yogurt! It was so creamy and filling! The nutritional stats are outstanding, too – 140 calories, 9 g of carbs, and 24 g of protein. I especially love the short ingredient list – Grade A pasteurized skim milk, live and active cultures. I definitely recommend this yogurt. I would love to buy it again, but I’m afraid it’s a bit out of my budget at $1.99 per cup.

To go along with my yogurt at lunchtime, I tried some new-to-mew cereal – Kashi Go Lean. I had been buying Go Lean Crunch regularly but that stuff is like crack! I’ve got to break the habit. I don’t need 13 g of sugar in the morning.

I had just 1/2 a serving (1/2 cup) with a little bit of unsweetened soy milk.

This is definitely a keeper! I was just the right amount of sweet, with just 6 g of sugar. A one cup serving has just 140 calories, and packs 10 g of fiber and 13 g of protein. I’ll be interested to see if this keeps me full when I have it for breakfast.

After a brisk 40-minute walk with the hubby and baby girl, I came back inside and warmed up with yet another new-to-me item – Celestial Seasonings Black Cherry Berry tea.

I love fruit teas, and this one was no exception! It had a wonderful, natural cherry taste. It’s amazing if you take a little bite of dark chocolate and then take a sip…which I may or may not have done. 😉

Dinner was a piece of baked salmon and a sweet potato. Simple and delicious.

Once baby was put to bed and my dinner was sufficiently digested, I squeezed in a 45-minute workout – Biggest Loser Power Sculpt. It was good to change it up. I’ve been doing Last Chance Workout for several weeks.

I then settled in on the couch to watch Food, Inc. All I will say for now is…WOW. I’ll post a full review later in the week.

What a great day of new foods, fresh air, and exercise! I think my favorite new item of the day was definitely the Voskos.

What’s your favorite new-to-you item?

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Don’t forget to check out OpenSky’s Train Like an Olympian promotion! Receive 15% off some great fitness gear.

A Few of My Favorite Things (and OpenSky Promo!)

Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens… Oh wait – this is a food and fitness blog! 😉

Here’s a look at a few of my current favorite food and fitness items:

  • Trader Joe’s Almond Butter – I could eat this straight out of the jar…and I often do!! It’s soooo yummy, and it’s loaded with healthy, monounsaturated fat. My favorite way to eat it is smeared on a super-ripe banana.

Did I mention this is just $4.99 a jar?!

  • Trader Joe’s Toasted Oat Bran – What could be better than 2 lbs of oat bran for less than $3?! Not only is this a bargain, but it tastes great, has 6 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein.

  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder – This is one of the better tasting protein powders I’ve tried. I use it in shakes, pancakes, yogurt, and more.

  • Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout – Looking for an incredible workout you can do at home? Look no further! This is an awesome HIIT (high instensity interval training) workout that really gets results. The video suggests doing the 55 minute workout 6 days a week. I do it every other day alternating with Spinning and I have seen a real improvement in my muscle tone.

  • Polar Heart Rate Monitor – I use my HRM every time I Spin. It’s a great tool to gauge how hard I’m working. It helps me know when I’m not working hard enough, and makes me realize when I’m pushing myself a little too hard.

Before I had my Polar, I used to go all out every time I got on my Spinning bike. When I started using my HRM, I realized that my heart rate was consistently WAY too high! Now, I can keep an eye on my heart rate and make sure I don’t over do it.

***Want to get your very own heart rate monitor? OpenSky is hosting a Train Like an Olympian promo! From now through next Tuesday, receive a 15% discount on the Polar FS2 Heart Rate Monitor.

Click here to take advantage of this great deal!

In honor of this great promotion and the winter Olympics…

What’s your favorite sport in the winter Olympics?

I’ve always loved watching the figure skating! 🙂

PB is Key!

Hey everyone! Sorry to have been MIA for a whole week. Totally unintentional. I wish I could say that I’ve been up to something exciting…

It’s been no secret on this blog that Mama has a BIG appetite! Especially when it comes to breakfast. I’m notorious for slamming 500+ calories in the morning and still being hungry a couple hours later. I think I have finally found the key to staying full through the morning – PB!! Adding peanut butter to my oats in the morning keeps me full for hours – which is great for extremely busy workdays when there isn’t much time to eat.

This morning, I had the most amazing bowl of oat bran:

  • 1/3 cup of oat bran
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 mashed banana
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • raisins
  • 1 tbs of PB

Check out that amazing PB drizzle!!

Trader Joe’s PB is the best for drizzling!

Per usual, this ginormous bowl of oats was eaten along side a plate of eggs (1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg). Holy full tummy!!

I didn’t dig into my lunch bag until about noon time today. That’s 6 hours of fullness. Incredible!

I neglected to photograph my packed work lunch… Throughout the afternoon, I had the following:

  • protein shake (1/2 cup of unsweetened soy milk + 2 tbs of Nutribiotic vanilla rice protein powder)
  • deli chicken wrap with light mayo
  • teeny, tiny apple
  • a few almonds
  • plain Chobani mixed with stevia and cocoa powder

I also packed some Trader Joe’s low sodium minestrone, but I never got around to eating it.

When I got home from work, though, the hunger started to set in. I munched on some mushrooms and roasted garlic hummus while I prepped dinner.

baked tofu, peppers, onions, and mushrooms all coated with Trader Joe's sesame soy ginger vinaigrette

Tonight’s exercise was Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout. Have you bought this video yet??? You should! It’s the most kick-butt at-home workout I’ve ever done. You definitely get some bang for your buck!

I wish I had taken a picture of my evening, post-exercise snack. It was delish!! 1/2 cup of non-fat yogurt mixed with cocoa powder and stevia (I’m hooked on chocolatey yogurt!!), and about 1/2 cup of frozen cherries. I will definitely be having this again in the near future!

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Have you checked out my Opensky Store yet?? I recently added apple pie Larabars! YUMMY! 😉

1 Year Gym-Free

At the end of this month, it will be one full year since the last time I set foot in a gym. So hard to believe. The gym used to be my second home!

When I was 32 weeks pregnant, I was told I couldn’t work out anymore. That was the end of my gym going days.

After my daughter was born last March – and after I was given the go-ahead to workout again – I quickly discovered that I didn’t have time to get to the gym. I had to make due with whatever time I had at home. This is something I wrote about a few months back.

While I’ve been able to get back in shape and stay in shape at home, there have been some challenges – the biggest being boredom! I’m finding I have to be more and more creative these days to keep myself motivated to workout in the evening.

Here are some of the ways I’m keeping things fresh:

  • Recycling routines. I had been buying a new workout DVD every 6-8 weeks to beat boredom. Now that I have a good collection of videos, I’m cycling back to the ones I did several months ago.
  • Surf the web. There are some great sites out there offering free workout videos and exercise plans. My new favorite is ExerciseTV. You can mix and match shorter videos to create a great workout!
  • Read magazines. There are so many health and fitness magazines out there that have handy tear-out cards and pages with quick and effective strength and cardio plans. I like: Shape, Self, and Fitness.
  • Alternate. I never do the same thing 2 days in a row. In fact, lately I’ve been trying not to do the same routine more than 3 days a week. I’m much more motivated when I’m trying new things.

What’s your favorite outside-the-gym workout?

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It’s been quite a busy week, hence the lack of posting this week. You can rest assured though that I’ve been eating delicious, nutritious food and gettin’ my sweat on!

1/3 cup of oat bran, 1 small banana, vanilla, cinnamon, raisins, and PB

I was definitely a late adopter on the oats and PB mix, but now that I finally tried it, I’m hooked!

1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 whole egg

Apple, Chobani, Z Bar, chicken salad, and TJ's minestrone

I’m not usually a soup person (especially not canned soup) but I LOVE this Trader Joe’s low-sodium minestrone!! It’s loaded with veggies and they’re not overly mushy, like many other soups. It tastes homemade!

grilled chicken with roasted balsamic carrots

This is one of my new favorite ways to cook carrots. I cut baby carrots length wise and lay them out on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. I sprayed a little more cooking spray over the carrots too and sprinkled on some salt and pepper. I roasted the carrots for about 30 minutes, drizzling the balsamic vinegar over them about 5 minutes before I took them out.

My exercise tonight was more Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout. I have a love/hate relationship with this video. It’s 55 minutes of Jillian Michaels. Yowsa!

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I’m working on an exciting new addition to the blog. I’m hoping to have it up by the end of the weekend. Stay tuned!!