My Trader Joe’s Essentials

Since the grand opening of Albany’s Trader Joe’s grocery store back in August, I’ve been a frequent shopper. I get all my weekly groceries there and there are a bunch of products I love! In case you’re new to Trader Joe’s and want some suggestions of what I love, here are some of my favorites.

Essential Food Items

The Granola. I really love the pumpkin spice granola. I also sometimes get the vanilla almond kind, both are great.

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Organic Blue Agave Sweetener. I got this recently to use in my tea at work, I loved it so I got one for home too. I noticed it tastes best with fruity teas…I save the honey for my green tea!

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Rolled Oats.

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Almond Milk.

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Greek yogurt. I particularly love the mango!

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Qunioa. Pretty much a staple in my pantry.

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Low Sodium Soy Sauce. I use this soy sauce with olive oil on my tofu when I cook it, its great.

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Other staples: frozen vegetables, apples and other fresh fruit, frozen mango, sliced cheese, whole wheat sandwich thins, whole wheat tuscan pane bread, the veggie masala burgers, tempeh, and extra firm sprouted tofu

Quick Meals

Shrimp Pepper Seasoning Stir-Fry. This is so quick and easy to prepare when I need a quick dinner.

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Fried rice with edamame, tofu and hijiki seaweed. This rice is a great addition to a meal or just on its own.

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Other: my absolute favorite are the butternut squash ravioli, the whole wheat organic fusilli pasta

Snacks

String cheese. This cheese is an awesome snack. Its cheaper at Trader Joe’s than anywhere else I’ve seen at about $3.49 for a bag.

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Pumpkin Cereal Bars. I bring these as a snack to work.

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Beverages

Beer! The selection of craft beer at Trader Joe’s is pretty awesome considering how small our store is. They had loads of pumpkin beer and you can mix & match, which I did. Love the seasonal selection.

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Sweets and Treats

Dark Chocolate coconut caramel bar. I rarely buy this because I can eat the whole thing in one sitting, but this one was my favorite so far. I also love the dark chocolate caramel and sea salt bar.

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Other: the chocolate cat cookies, dark chocolate power berries, smashing s’mores, the cookie butter

Non-Food Items

Lavender Sea Salt Scrub

Honey Mango Shave Lotion

Other: All in one face wash and the Enrich moisturizing face lotion

Pets

Last but not least–the tuna cat food. I gave my cat this on a whim and now he refuses to eat any other cat food.

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Cedric approves.

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A Lazy Sunday

A Lazy Sunday

Actually, I most of my Sunday was lazy…minus my eight mile run!

I woke up  yesterday morning and had my Trader Joe’s goods on the brain. Especially the pumpkin butter. I had to have more TJ’s cinnamon raisin bread as well…so breakfast and pre-run fuel was cinnamon raisin toast, slathered with TJ’s almond butter and pumpkin butter, with a banana. I ended up taking the banana off, since for some reason the texture of a banana on toast has been bothering me. Weird? Yes. I can eat the banana alone just fine…

After waiting a few hours for my meal to digest, I headed out for an eight mile run. It felt good to be getting long runs in on the weekend again! Except, it was raining a bit. It wasn’t too bad, but I was kind of cold by the end.

Garmin stats:
Total distance: 8 miles
Total elapsed time: 1 hour, 13 minutes and 36 seconds
Average pace: 9:12

Splits:
Mile 1 – 10:03
Mile 2 – 9:23
Mile 3 – 9:10
Mile 4 – 9:13
Mile 5 – 9:00
Mile 6 – 8:43
Mile 7 – 9:07
Mile 8 – 8:53

I mostly just picked it up for the last three miles because it was raining and I wanted just to be done. I also wanted a nice hot shower.

I had lots of time to think during my run, and I think that signing up for a 15K four weeks after my first half marathon wasn’t too smart. I didn’t really get much of a chance to “recover” the few weeks following my race, since I have been worried about keeping my endurance up for the 15K. But also, I’m really excited about running it, and I want to end my racing year with a bang! 😉 But I guess I’m just afraid of getting burnt out. Lets just hope that doesn’t happen! Although, I think I may be more excited about my first trail race on Halloween next weekend!

After my run, I had lunch, which included more food from Trader Joe’s. It was the perfect time to have my vegetable masala burger!!

It was delicious! It was one of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had. I ended up chopping it up and throwing it in with a scrambled egg and some spinach, with a side of salsa andTJ’s goat cheese.

It was a tasty lunch for this hungry girl, post-run.

I spent the rest of the afternoon doing laundry and lazing around, which was perfect! My legs were feeling a bit sore, too. But later in the evening I went over to Chris’ where we made dinner and watched a movie. Dinner was from guess where? TJ’s!

Chris had been wanting risotto lately, so I picked him up some at TJ’s. Doesn’t he make a good cook? 😉

It was delicious! We threw in some broccoli and pepper, too. It was so creamy.

Dinner was followed by a movie. Since Halloween is coming up, I decided I wanted to attempt a scary movie, since I don’t do scary movies, ever. I did my research (as in reading the synapsis online) and determined I could probably handle Paranormal Activity. And to be honest, I wasn’t that scared, just a little bit freaked out! I know I probably shouldn’t have read spoilers, but it was just easier for me to handle it that way! 😉 Who knows, maybe I will see the second one in the theater!!!

Question: do you like scary movies?

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Grocery Shopping with Bloggers

Today was awesome! The Blends (Blogger Friends) and I went on a day trip to Hadley, MA to visit their Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for some grocery goodness!

Katie, Courtney, Emily, the other Emily, Heather, Rebecca and I all piled into Cynthia’s super van.

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Courtney and I

To Whole Foods we went!

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First stop: Whole Foods hot bar!!! I was starving by the time we got there and loaded up on good stuff. This just looks like a mixture of everything.

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In the mix:

  • Fruit Salad (at the bottom)
  • Roasted sweet potato (at the bottom)
  • Noodles
  • Falafel
  • Pineapple quinoa salad
  • Sesame Tofu (amazing)
  • Vegan chicken salad (at the bottom, and completely amazing!)

I think the vegan chicken salad was my favorite, along with the tofu. So good! I wish I knew how they made the “chicken” in the salad, because I would love to re-create it! I can see why they call Whole Foods Whole Paycheck, though. My lunch was $13!

I also had a drink, my favorite tea, iced:

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I am obsessed with Tazo Zen green tea! I was unaware they made it in iced tea bottles.

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I love that Whole Foods composts their garbage.

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More places need to do this.

And then, Emily spotted the Gelato Counter.

I had to get some, even if it was freezing in there. I got one scoop of belgian chocolate and one scoop of peanut butter chip.

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Tasty stuff.

After lunch, we headed over to the Trader Joe’s! We figured we would eat first, and then hit up Trader Joe’s for the shopping, since we can find most groceries cheaper there than at Whole Foods.

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Glorious! TJ’s, why don’t you move to Albany, please? I love you!

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What do you get when you cross a bunch of food bloggers with an amazing grocery store? MAYHEM!!! 😉

My goods:

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  • Organic superfruit spread (my first jar got confiscated at the Pittsburgh Airport! So I never got to try it.)
  • Pumpkin butter
  • S’mashing S’mores (who cares if summer is over, these are amazing)
  • Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix
  • Dark Chocolate Powerberries
  • Fiberful Fruit Ends and Pieces
  • Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
  • Creamy Spreadable Goat Cheese (unpictured)
  • White Bean Hummus (unpictured)
  • Veggie Masala Burgers (unpictured)
  • Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Ravioli (unpictured)
  • Sunflower Seed Butter (unpictured)
  • Almond Butter (unpictured)
  • Three surprises for Chris 😉

Back over at Whole Foods I got some MASSACHUSETTS BEER! If you’ve been following my Green Challenge at all, you know that I can only purchase beer or wine from whatever state I’m in at the time. I picked up some Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale. Next to it is a six pack of Brown’s Brewing Oatmeal Stout I picked up the other day here in Hannaford.

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As soon as I got home I broke into the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl bread, and topped it with Pumpkin Butter. Amazing!!! How have I been missing out on pumpkin butter for so long?

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Yeah, no plate for this girl!!!

I had such a fun time today with my blends!!! A big thanks to Cynthia for driving us in her van! We had such a great time…and maybe spent a bit too much money on groceries!!!

PS: Notice anything different about the blog?! I worked on a new layout yesterday, what do you think? Every once in a while I need a change!

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Trader Joe’s in Pitt

Wednesday afternoon after lunch in Pittsburgh, Chris and I went to check out the local Trader Joe’s! We don’t have TJ’s in Albany 🙁 so a trip here was much needed! I wanted to get a couple of things that were non-perishable that I could bring back on the plane. I picked up…

Organic Superfruit Spread

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Powerberries

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Apple Blueberry Dried Fruit Bar

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So far, my favorite item from TJ’s, Smashing S’mores. We heated them up in the microwave for about 5 seconds, and the marshmallow got all metly + delicious. Yum!

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And non-food related…

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The shaving cream works really well (and smells nice!) so I will probably be buying more on my next trip to TJ’s!

Since we’ve been eating pretty much every meal out (except dinner) since we’ve been in Pittsburgh, Chris and I went for a run this morning on a trail in Schenley Park. We did ~4.0 miles in 38 minutes.

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It felt good to finally get some exercise in and burn some of those calories. 🙂

We also saw this guy on the side of the road…

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How cute?

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Summer in the City – Day 2: Kiss-In, Lush & Whole Foods Lunch

Missed Day One?
Part 1 Summer in the City – Day 1: Pancakes, Wine & Cupcakes
Part 2 Summer in the City – Day 1: Drinks at Macondo and the Spinto Band

—–

Onto Saturday morning in the city! The weather was gorgeous. I was so happy, because every time I’ve ever been to the city, it was either raining, or snowing, in the dead of winter. This was my first time visiting in the summer! 🙂 How perfect.

Leaving times square, Chris & I noticed a commotion going on. It was the Times Square Kiss-In!
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There was a 26-foot statue replica of the famous photograph:
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(Source)

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It was so awesome! I love that photograph, so seeing the statue was really cool! I tired to take our picture in front of it, but you can’t even see the statue! Oh well. It was still cute!

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The morning’s mission: Union Square! Specifically, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Since we don’t have any of these stores anywhere near Albany, I really wanted to go.

On the way, Chris stopped and got a NYC hot dog at the hot dog cart! So cute!
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On the way to Union Square, we got distracted by Lush. I went into this store with my friend Krista the last time I was in the city, but Saturday Chris and I spent some time talking with the sales people about the different products. Lush is a bath and body store, and they really care about the environment, so all of their products are made from fresh, organic fruits and veggies, and some are even vegan! Although expensive, I’m a big fan of this company and their beliefs.
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We left with with a bag full of goodies. I got the Creamed Almond and Coconut Shower Smoothie. Bonus: it’s vegan! Nice! And smells yummy and feels great on my skin.
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I also got a sugar scrub, the Sugar Babe Body Sugar Scrub, which is made with fair trade sugar, beeswax, and coconut oil. This also feels great and helps relieve dry skin. I’m sure it will be awesome for the winter time, if I still have some left!

Chris got a bunch of cool products too, a tea tree face toner, and a nice body wash. I really like this store! Too bad there weren’t any around here. I guess I’ll just have to order online when I need more!

After our stop at Lush, we headed down to Whole Foods! Hurray!
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And it was glorious! I probably could have spent all day in here looking around at all the goods. But, we just had lunch. Oh, the amazing food!
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I tried some of the quinoa salads they had…What can I say, I was craving quinoa! I can’t even remember what I grabbed besides the quinoa, some arugula, roasted veggies, sun dried tomatoes, feta, a slice of naan, and some fruit. It’s was all in a big pile in my container.
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And my favorite coconut water that I can never find.

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Happy at Whole Foods! It was a tasty + healthy lunch. I think my body needed that healthy food after eating pancakes, cupcakes and too much wine the previous day. 😉

After Whole Foods, we walked down the street a little bit to Trader Joe’s! TJ’s was great too, much more in my price range!
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I actually picked up a few things, some TJ’s almond butter (cheaper than my almond butter here) and some sunflower seed butter! I also got random tea tree oil face cleansing pads.

The only thing crappy about TJ’s was horrendous line. I guess that’s the price you pay in NYC. We went to the wine shop too…which was awesome as well. They had my Vino Verde for only 3.99! But I didn’t get it. So much wine!
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On the way back…my dream clothing store! Beautiful running and yoga clothes.
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I think going in here was a mistake, because it just tempted me with all of the gorgeous workout clothes that I can never afford…so sad! They didn’t even have a sale rack! Boooo.

Anyway, after checking out a couple of places near Union Square, it was time to go back and get ready for dinner! Its funny how FAST time goes in the city! We felt like we hardly had time to do anything! But we did get a lot done that we wanted to, its just we didn’t fit everything in…there is SO much to do! Crazy.

I took some pretty pictures in Union Square.
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Saturday evening is coming up…complete with a Zen Experience, and American Idiot on Broadway! Woohoo! 😉

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