A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Trader Joe’s Run!

on August 24, 2013

This week’s topic at Weight Watcher’s was smart grocery shopping, summed up by a great quote: “If you say no in the grocery store, you say no once. If you bring it home, you say no over and over until it is gone.” Wise words that definitely make this journey easier. I know there are some foods I just have to pretend aren’t in my house or avoid bringing home all together.

Coincidentally, I’d spent my pre-WW waiting time making my list for one of my favorite grocery stores, Trader Joe’s. We have a Trader Joe’s in Omaha, but I only get there once a month or so since it isn’t really close to the house. My little guy had a haircut scheduled today near TJ so I was glad to stock up while I was over there and thought I’d share some of my TJ staples.


They have a fantastic produce selection, but my favorite thing about the produce section is the large number of pre-prepped items they have. It is easier to eat healthy fruits and veggies when someone does the work for you! Today I got:
-peeled and cubed butternut squash (I’m addicted! I roast them in the oven with cumin or Cajun seasoning, sauté with salsa and kale as a quesadilla filling, & use in soup or chili.) *Confession: I bought 6 bags. I just put the other 5 away before the pic!
-chopped mire poix (celery, onions and carrots – very convenient for soups; I pick up a container anytime I’m in TJ and freeze it if I don’t have soup on the menu for the week.)
-peeled and roasted beets (great in salads)
-salad mix
-pre-chopped onions, shallots and garlic (again, freeze if I’m not going to use it quickly)
-gazpacho (Love! Fresh taste, 1 pt for a cup)

They also have a great pre-cut stir fry mix with peppers, onion, mushrooms, etc. We use the shredded kale and brussel sprouts a lot, especially with the diced pancetta they keep over on the cheese wall. All zero points (except the pancetta of course – that you should definitely use sparingly!)

I love the TJ brand of fat free Greek Yogurt (2 pts plus for up to 7 oz, 3 pts plus for up to 10 oz, Zero! Points for 2tbsp – which I do frequently in place of sour cream). I use the Greek Yogurt in place of sour cream, mixed with fruit for breakfast or dessert or to make a fantastic peanut butter pudding with 2 tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter – a staple in my house for 1pt per serving!), vanilla and sweetener.

In the freezer section, I like to stock up on their frozen berry blends (especially the Very Berry blend, which has cherries and makes a great cobbler/fruit crisp/oatmeal or ice cream or yogurt mix in) and usually have their sweet potato tots, veggie burgers and salmon burgers in my freezer.

One of my favorite things is to peruse the dips and salsas selection, which is extensive, low point and always fun. I keep the Spicy Black Bean spread around (4 tbsp for 1 pt) and Queso (3 tbsp zero points!), plus an ever changing rotation of other salsas and dips. Today I brought home the Reduced Guilt Guacamole (2 tbsp for 1 pt), roasted tomato salsa(0) and a red pepper-garlic-eggplant spread I’ve never tried (don’t know the points yet). I use this as dips with chips or veggies, sandwich spreads, nacho/quesadilla toppers or mix ins for casseroles and pastas. Very versatile, very low point and very tasty so far. I also really love the whole grain Dijon mustard from that section.


They have a fantastic cheese wall and will happily let you exchange any cheese you find out you don’t like after you get home, which is awesome. I don’t buy much of their meat just because it’s rarely on my list at the time I happen to go by there, but they some interesting pre-prepped/marinated/etc options. Of course, there is the cheap and tasty wine as well.

Other things I’ve gotten before and enjoyed: can/box soups (esp the roasted red pepper, butternut squash and lentil soups) and sweet potato tortilla chips (great for black bean nachos). I’ve heard good things about their Better Than Peanut Butter light peanut butter product and the Ak Mak crackers, but I haven’t tried those yet myself. My little boy really enjoys the fruit filled cereal bars and yogurt drinks.

I really love that the store is small, quick to get through and has absolutely the best customer service. They will find anything for you, fix any problems quickly and always have smiles and stickers for my toddler. I definitely recommend stopping in if you pass by! (Completely non-sponsored post by the way – just love the store)

Today I have 40 minutes of cross training on the schedule and early to bed so I can get up early to book our Disney dining reservations tomorrow! I already have my new SparkleSkirt laid out for my 3 mile run in the morning. I’m planning on doing it as soon as I finish the dining. If I’m going to be up early, I may as well get my workout done for the day and take advantage of the Disney-vacation high I’ll have (hopefully) after my successful ADR session. I love starting my day with 6000+ steps on the FitBit right off the bat!

For my weekly weigh in, I was at 167.2, above my WW Lifetime cutoff off 166 (normal BMI for my height is 164, which was my goal weight and I need to weigh no more than 2 pounds above that to keep WW free). I didn’t have to weigh in today, but I definitely need to scoot that down before next month. I will look back over my tracker and watch my weight over the next week to see how things go.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

PS The updated blog look is courtesy of my fabulous husband, who tweaked things last night as we were hanging out at Village Inn on our date night, getting caffeinated before we went out to the drag show fundraiser we were attending for the evening. Thanks love!


6 responses to “Trader Joe’s Run!

  1. leannenalani says:

    We don’t have a Trader Joe’s in our city but my colleagues all live and die by that place. I don’t blame them at all! Queso for 0 points? Crazy! I think I tried Better Than Peanut Butter years ago and recalled that it was too sweet so it didn’t really taste like PB to me.

  2. […] not tempting them to go overboard as much. I love the dark chocolate covered cocoa nibs at Trader Joe‘s (1 calorie each! Very intensely chocolatey) and the small chocolate bars of various cocoa […]

  3. […] ten little Dark Chocolate Nibs I have at my desk most days (from Trader Joe’s – […]

  4. […] There are lots of things at Trader Joe’s that serve as good shortcuts (as previously reviewed here) and my local grocery store has their own internally prepped items, ready to toss in the oven or on […]

  5. […] on April 29, 2014 Yesterday, I made a stop at Trader Joe’s to stock up on a few of our favorites and as usual, found something new to try out. First, I loaded up on veggies and fruits. It always […]

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