What I Ate… at Trader Joe’s {WIAW}

Oh Joe the Trader, those four years in Boone were tortuous without you. I’m so very happy you’re back in my life. You warm my cheap, healthy-food-loving heart like no other grocery chain.

To honor my recent reunion with my beloved Trader Joe’s, I thought I’d use this What I Ate Wednesday highlight some of my favorite Trader Joe’s products, because my eats have been pretty boring lately. Watch out, there’s a few!

(Thanks Jenn!)

  1. Salted Crunchy Peanut Butterwiaw1-5

    Just pure peanuts and salt, the way peanut butter should be, and all under $3, just one more way to fuel my nut butter addiction.

  2. Three Buck Chuck

    I know it’s Two Buck Chuck in other luckier states that don’t tax alcohol as hard as they do hear in the Bible Belt. But three dollars for a decent bottle of wine? I’m not even sure what kind of vino magic this is, but it’s a beautiful thing.

  3. Tempeh

    Even though it’s not gluten-free it doesn’t seem to bother my stomach too much and it’s so much cheaper than any other brand. I actually used to load up on it when I was home on weekends because it was that much cheaper.
  4. Unsulfured Turkish Apricots
    I actually tried these for the first time this week but I finished the bag in less than three days. I’m not usually a fan of dried apricots, I think they’re too dry and chewy, but these are sweet, soft and incredible tasty.
  5. Gluten-Free Cheese Pizza

    Finally a gluten-free pizza for less than $8.
  6. Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds

    These are scary good. I could seriously down the entire container in one sitting if you let me.

  7. The Coffee Selection

    Trader Joe’s makes some dance tasty coffee. Their Peaberry beans are especially delicious.
  8. Wheat-Free Toaster Waffles

    They’re extra good covered in their crunchy peanut butter =)

Do you live near Trader Joe’s? I can sympathize with those of you that don’t, it stinks!

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

What’s your favorite grocery chain? I wish I lived near a Publix, those are pretty awesome.

Injuries Suck and a Brain Dump

Being injured is just a big pile of poo. My naggy back-of-the-knee pain will not go away and it is about to drive me crazy. It subsides a lot when I don’t run, but never completely away and when I think I’m safe to run again, BAM post-run it’s back.


Okay, I’m being a little whiny, but I know you fellow runners/exercises/just generally active people feel my pain (pun somewhat intended). It stinks being side-lined by an injury and to be honest I’m not dealing with it too well, and it’s bumming me out a lot.

For one, I really hate sitting still, I mean I can laze around watching Food Network for hours (especially if Paula Deen is on) but there comes I point where I I have to get up and DO something to save my sanity. Two, I’m the worst injured person ever. Luckily I’ve never had any major injuries, but I usually just try to ignore the pain and keep on keepin’ on. Hey, I never claimed to be smart about injury prevention. And lastly I’ve got some big races coming up, races I really need to train for and I can’t, lamelamelame.

Okay, pity party over. Here’s what I’m doing to try to speed up recovery:

  • Ice, lots and lots of it
  • Stretching, trying to get back in the habit of regular yoga because I can tell my hamstrings/calves are tightttt.
  • Anti-Inflammatories, which is a big deal because I’m a hippie and will avoid taking pills for as long as possible. Desperation is sinking in.
  • Low impact exercises, I’ve been a spin class FREAK, I might even resort to the elliptical soon, yuck I hate that thing.

How do you keep your sanity when you’re injured? 

Time for a brain dump, AKA all that random thoughts that filter through my head on a daily basis.

  • I hate road closures, I’ve literally ran into 6 different ones since I’ve been home, why you gotta be so difficult to navigate Raleigh? 
  • BYOK>BYOL and by BYOK I mean Bring Your Own Kale, that should be a thing, because I totally would.

    I mean, I already put it in cupcakes


  • Forget Walgreens, there should be a Trader Joe’s on every corner. Pretty please.
  • Peanut butter fixes everything. I was making a tofu/veggie stir fry and couldn’t find a good asian-y sauce (is that even PC to say?) so I mixed in peanut butter with a little salt and pepper. Problem solved.
  • These need to get in my belly ASAP

  • You can totally judge a fro yo place by how good their chocolate flavor is.
  • 85% cacao, come on Joe, step it up, where’s my 100% at?
  • This afternoon I pulled up the wrong way to the gas pump and 5 different cars of people watched me get back in the car, start it up and turn it around. Sometimes my own intelligence just amazes me.
  • Tomorrow afternoon I will be on the beachhhhh. Well not exactly on the beach because it’s supposed to be in the 40s (ew) but beach adjacent.
  • Thrift Shop is the most relatable hip hop song I’ve heard in a while. I can’t relate to:

    But I can relate to shopping at a thrift store, oh so much.

  • Sorry for being horrible with keeping up one comments/reading/all forms of social media, I’ve been enjoying spring break by spending less time on the computer. I miss you guys but I’m enjoying being a little unplugged, I promise I’ll catch back up soon!

How do you deal with an injury?

What’s your brain brain dump for today?

Sugar Hangover and Snow Days

Look at me posting early in the morning. This is what happens when my professor is out of town and I don’t have class until 12:30, it’s a beautiful thing, that and the fact that I can’t sleep past 8:00 AM even though I went to bed at 2. Not the best combo.

I’ve got a straight up sugar hangover. Yesterday was a full on snow day with no class whatsoever and I fully enjoyed myself by staying in my yoga pants all day, not leaving the apartment, eating plenty of gluten-free brownies and doing absolutely nothing. It was glorious.

(Thanks Jenn!)

I can’t say I ate too many green things yesterday, but that’s okay because healthy living is all about balance. Sometimes you have to balance your greens with brownies.

Here’s a snap shot of my day, at least what I managed to get on camera, which definitely wasn’t everything.

coconut oil sweet potatoes

Best breakfast ever. I’m telling you, it will not get old.

baker's chocolate

Baker’s chocolate makes the best breakfast addition. Starting my day off with chocolate is the best.

broccoli zucchini and onions

Broccoli, zucchini, onions and a few spray’s of Braggs liquid aminos. These were the only veggies I had all day and I do not feel bad about it. Though this bowl probably is a full day’s serving. A day without veggies is a day without sunshine, kind of like burpees.

gluten free peanut butter coconut pancakes

Lunch dessert! My roommate made blueberry syrup and we all had pancakes for lunch, except mine was more of a lunch dessert because it was eaten after my big bowl of veggies. Recipe for the pancakes at the bottom!

Then imagine lots of afternoon snacking, that’s what happens when you’re trapped in your apartment all day.

Such as:

coconut milk with cocoa powder

Cocoa powder and coconut milk, and

apple and banana

Apples and bananas. Now that song is stuck in my head. I realized yesterday I got through a ridiculous amount of bananas in a week. I bought 5 at the store on Monday and I ran out yesterday. I’m a banana fiend.

trader joe's gluten free pizza

I wish I had a more attractive picture, that did this pizza justice, but, um, I don’t. I had a delicious Trader Joe’s gluten-free pizza that I have been hoarding in my freezer for a couple months now. I will even admit that I ate the pizza. It was absolutely delicious. And awesome because my roommates ordered Papa John’s and I actually got to eat pizza along with them.

And then one of my friends brought over cinnamon sugar scones, which weren’t gluten-free and I will be paying for today. It’s okay they were delicious and totally worth it, though I maybe be changing my tune in before the day is over.

pumpkin bread

Then this happened. My roommate baked a loaf of pumpkin bread, the mix has been sitting in our cabinet since October and she finally got around to making it. It was 100% delicious, even though I’m sure my stomach won’t appreciate that one either. If you’re curious, the mix is Fresh Market brand if you’re looking for a good pumpkin bread mix next fall, this one is a winner.

I think this is why professors bombard us with work 24/7, because when college students have nothing to do, we spend all day baking, they’re really just watching out for our health. Not long after the pumpkin bread, this happened:

bob's red mill gluten free brownies

Brownie cliff! I feel like that’s what it looks like.

I made gluten-free brownies using the Bob’s Redmill mix my roommate bought me for Christmas.

Three things about that, one, my roommate gave me gluten-free brownie mix for Christmas, how amazing is that? Two, Bob from Bob’s Redmill looks exactly like my dad, and three, these brownies were AMAZING. They didn’t taste gluten-free at all, even my gluten-loving friends thought they were amazing.

Cue this mornings sugar hangover. Oh sugar, you are so delicious but you leave me feeling so gross the next day. You know how to cure a sugar hangover? Pancakes. Well, maybe not but they are a delicious breakfast, or lunch, or lunch dessert.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Coconut Pancakes

Makes 2 medium-sized pancakes

gluten free peanut butter coconut pancakes


  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • 1 egg (I actually used egg whites for my pancake but it didn’t hold together as well as I would hope, I think a whole egg would hold together much better)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • Cinnamon to taste


  1. Comine all ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Pour batter on to a greased pan cooking on medium heat until cooked on one side. You will know the first side is done when the edges begin to bubble.
  3. Flip and finish cooking on the other side
  4. Top with delicious things (like homemade blueberry syrup and peanut butter) and enjoy

What’s your favorite breakfast food?

How do you find balance?

A Case of the Mondays {MIMM}

Happy Monday!

(Thanks Katie! I’m loving the spruced up graphic)

I’m not going to lie I had a serious case of the Mondays. It was one of those days where I just wanted to curl up in bed, blow off all my obligations and take 8 naps in a row. Too bad I have silly things like classes to go and exams to take so that didn’t happen boo.

Okay, less complaining, more marvelous.

Marvelous is… exercise endorphins! Turned my stinky mood upside down, I only wish I had time to run sooner. I need to bring back morning workouts, except that 5am wake up calls are not happening anymore soooo… maybe not.

Marvelous is… Time at home! Weekends at home are just good for my sanity.

Marvelous is… Strawberries and chocolate fondue, courtesy of a Trader Joe’s trip (oh, Trader Joe, I have missed you more than you will ever know, so much so I went twice in one weekend)

strawberries and chocolate fondue

Chocolate + Strawberries needs to happen more often. I’m thinking once a night.

Marvelous is… Dinner out when the parentals are paying. Thanks guys 🙂 A trip to Sweet Tomatoes and Tijuana Flats happened. So dang delicious.

salad bar overachieving


Hellooooo salads. I don’t think I’m getting enough vegetables, I should really try harder.

Marvelous is… Birthday dinners (er, lunches) we met my brother in Chapel Hill for lunch at the Mediterranean Deli. Why is Mediterranean food so good? And why isn’t there more of it in Boone?

mediterranean deli lunch

I’m drooling all over again. Starting with the fruit and going clockwise we have fruit kabobs roasted veggies, eggplant and squash stew and avocado salad. Plus pita bread that was distributed to the rest of my family. The avocado salad is hiding under the pita, but there was like 2 whole avocados in that thing. Amazing.

Marvelous is… Cookie butter samples at Trader Joe’s. I might have walked past the sample table twice, and then made my mom grab me a third because I was too ashamed to go back a third time, but not enough to not make her do it for me. On an less marvelous note, the beer sampler thought I was 12, not quite. At least the beer was tasty.

trader joe's cookie butter

Gluten be damned. This stuff is amazing! Funny side note, while googling cookie butter images all the pictures that popped up were taken by food bloggers. They don’t joke around with their cookie butter.

Marvelous is… My kitty cats. I missed them, I don’t care if that makes me a crazy cat lady.

jenny cat

And Sam is doing really well, no large intestine means he can eat all the cat treats he wants which he is very excited about.


This photo was taken pre-surgery because his little belly is now bald. I think he’s praying it grows back soon.

Marvelous is… my completely immature sense of humor. I saw these instructions on a bag of steamable frozen vegetables

package directions

It says “gently massage package” if you can’t read it due to my wonderful high quality photography (my camera phone has a whole 3 pixels and I know you’re super jealous). I laughed at this way longer than I care to admit and way longer than is normal for a 21 year old girl.

Marvelous is… Midweek grocery runs.

eggs and runner's world

Organic eggs and the latest Runner’s World. You know, the essentials. Bonus is that the magazine was free because I wracked up enough loyalty program points at Earth Fare, yeahhhhh free stuff. My favorite.

What made your Monday Marvelous?

What did you do this weekend?

Do you have pets? What kind?

Thankful Thursday Story Time

Happy Thursday/Last day ever because the world is ending tomorrow. You guys better live it up. I’m spending my last night on Earth wrapping Christmas presents and watching Food Network. Hopefully the world won’t end tomorrow because that is a pretty lame last day.

Well besides the world hopefully not ending tomorrow, I have a couple other things I’m thankful for.


I’m thankful for a roof over my head and financial support.

Story time: today I was on my way to Target (oh, Target I have missed you so much, it’s a lonely existence in Boone without you), to finish my shopping for Christmas parents. Before leaving home I was jokingly giving my dad a hard time for drinking the rest of the coffee in the coffee because I was just about to pour myself some. My dad was nice enough to give me a couple dollars so I could buy myself some Starbucks while I was at Target.

While driving to Target I was stopped at red light and to the left of me was a one-legged homeless man holding up a sign asking for change. In that moment a overwhelming sense of guilt washed over me. Here I was sitting in a car my parents paid for on my way to buy Christmas gifts for my family when this man had next to nothing. You can call me a sucker, but I’m okay with that. So I did what I could in that moment and gave him my coffee money. It seemed wrong to use the money for a cup of coffee I could make at home when I could give it to someone who really needed it.

The second I rolled my window down to hand him the money I saw his face light up and it warmed my heart more than any cup of coffee could. That moment made me realize just how grateful I am to have a place to come home to every night, because so many people don’t. It can be so easy to take something like a roof over your head for granted, but it’s something that can easily be taken away from us for a number of reasons. So today I’m thankful for my house and my apartment at school, the fact that I have a place to call home and parents who help support financially while I’m in school. And it wasn’t much, but I’m thankful I was able to help that guy out a little bit.

That was a lot deeper than I planned on going, but it really brightened my day to see that man smile.

On a lighter note…

I’m also thankful for Trader Joe’s. Maybe that’s silly but where else can you buy wine, coffee, gluten-free pizza, peanut butter and brussels sprouts (AKA the only things you need in life) for super cheap? Nowhere. Thank you Joe the Trader for being one magical bargain hunting genius.

What are you thankful for?

Are you a Trader Joe’s Fan?

This or That.

Today has been pretty uninteresting. I went to a 6 am spin class (wonderful), went to work and then spent the evening procrastinating packing (moving back to school on Sunday!). I hate packing, if some packing fairies decide to pop up and I find all my stuff boxed up tomorrow morning I wouldn’t complain. Please?

I thought a survey might be fun. I’ve seen this one all over the blog-world. I thought I’d hop on the survey train too.

This or That?

1. Run/workout in the heat and humidity or freezing temps and snow? Heat and humidity! I’m the BIGGEST wimp ever when it comes to running in the cold! Maybe you remember this terrible 5k I ran in the cold. Cold is gross. Plus I usually get sick after running in the cold which is no bueno.

2. Have washboard abs or flat abs? Washboard! I like to dream big =)

I definitely wouldn’t mind having Sanya Richard Ross’ abs.

3. Dr. Oz or The Doctors? I’d probably pick Dr. Oz over the Doctors but I don’t like how overzealous he is when it comes to recommending supplements. I’m also not a fan of how he has to bust out the preserved body part every time he talks about a different disease. A nice illustration would get the point across.

4. Cardio or strength? Both! I burn out if I don’t constantly mix things up. I have the worst gym ADD. That being said, I’m really digging cardio at the moment, but with some weight intervals thrown in.

5. Cravings: Protein or carbs? Carbs! All day everyday. I could literally just eat carbs all day (and peanut butter!) and be completely content. People who claim they don’t like carbs are ridiculous. Carbs are delicious.

Yes yes yes.

6. Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper? Probably Bob Harper, I didn’t watch much Biggest Loser when Jillian Michaels was on it and I’ve never tried any of her videos, but Bob seems nicer. Plus he’s a vegan, which I think is pretty cool.

7. Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream? Fro yooooo. I had a bite of my dads ice cream the other week and was almost sent into diabetic shock. Not really, but I like the tartness of frozen yogurt much better. But if someone offered me a free scoop of ice cream I certainly wouldn’t turn it down.

8. To train: Upper body or Lower body? On the fence, I like working my lower body because it’s way stronger than my upper body, but I feel like balancing things out. And lunges are my nemesis and upper body workouts don’t include lunges so I’m a fan.

9. Protein powder or food with protein? I know it’s so much better to get protein from food, but protein powder comes in delicious flavors like vanilla and chocolate! It’s a nice change from eggs/soy/beans/cottage cheese galore. But I don’t buy protein powder very often so most of my protein comes from food.

10. Lunges or squats? Squats! Anything but lunges please. I hate hate hate lunges. They’re good for me but they feel like torture. I would rather do burpees than lunges, I hate them that much.

11. Sweet or salty? Sweet, salty is great but I would rather eat 528457298457 pounds of fruit.

12. Workout attire: cute or comfy? Comfy, I look like a hot mess when I’m in the gym. But buying cute workout clothes is totally motivation to get my butt to the gym.

13. Body Pump or Heavy lifting? I’ve never taken a Body Pump class but my gym offers something that sounds similar, I like heavy lifting better. I love seeing the progress you get with heavy lifting and feeling like a beast.

14. Yoga or Pilates? Even though I teach Pilates, I have to say Yoga. I love Pilates, but I never crave Pilates like I crave a good yoga session. Yoga encompasses so much more than just a workout, and I think that’s part of why I’m drawn to it.

15. Nike or Adidas? I’ve actually never owned anything from either brand, crazy right? I think Nike’s stuff is cuter though.

16. Running on the treadmill or outdoors? At the moment I’m loving the treadmill, but I’m sure that will change when the weather cools down. But right now AC definitely beats out 95 degree summer weather.

17. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s? I love Whole Foods but my wallet loves Trader Joe’s.

18. Summer or Winter Olympics? Summer! Mostly because I’m not a fan of the snow or cold, and I love watching gymnastics and running. But at this point I’ll take any Olympics I can get my hands on, I’m still in the midst of some serious Olympic withdrawals.

19. Exercises classes or Exercise videos? Classes by far. I get so lazy when it comes to exercise videos, classes are so much more motivating. I love the atmosphere and I feel like I push myself so much harder when I’m working out around other people.

20. Steamed veggies or roasted veggies? Roasted veggies! So much more flavorful and less squishy.