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A Trader Joe’s Problem

I have a problem. I can’t leave Trader Joe’s without spending $40. I walk in the door with intentions of only purchasing two or three things and end up filling up my whole basket.

And I don’t know how this happens but a full basket magically translates to $40. Take tonight for example, my list included fish, tomatoes, feta and olives.

I left with the items on my list + hummus, pita chips, pretzels, apples, bananas, ciabatta, Larabars, Clif bars, two bottles of wine and dark chocolate with caramel and black sea salt (yes, seriously…I’ll let you know how it is!).

Sigh…I’m hopeless. Trader Joe’s is just too tempting! I want to try everything there!

Does anyone else have a Trader Joe’s problem? What are your favorite things to buy there? My staples include organic apples, hummus, dried fruit, nuts, nut butters, olive oil, wine, frozen fruit, cheeses (especially goat and feta), wine and coffee.

Let’s do something we haven’t done in a couple days…talk about what I’ve been eating and workouts!

This morning started with a quiet ashtanga practice. There is no formal ashtanga class on Thursday mornings, you just show up and practice if you want to. I really needed to be on my mat this morning and was so grateful for the solitude. I’ve been much more in the groove of my practice this week and it’s been wonderful. I think a lot of it has to do with being back in town and back in my routine.

Breakfast was overnight oats at my desk. Especially delicious overnight oats since they were in an almost empty jar of (Trader Joe’s) peanut butter. In the jar…oats, plain Greek yogurt, vanilla soy milk, diced apple, diced banana, dried cranberries and chia seeds. Topped with Crofter’s.

I came home for lunch and made a big salad – mixed greens, mushrooms, avocado, carrots, sprouts, dried cranberries, shredded mozz, almonds and a veggie burger with lemon/honey/dijon vinaigrette.

Guess who ran on the treadmill today?

This girl! I had a few minutes to kill before BodyPump so I hopped on the treadmill and knocked out two miles as quickly as I could. I just turned my music up and kept bumping the pace until I was at 7:30. Before I knew it I was sweaty and it was time to teach. Class was great!

Dinner was a loose take on a dish I’ve blogged about on Bakin’ and Eggs – Sauteed Snapper with Cherry Tomatoes. I seasoned mahi with salt and pepper and sauteed. When the fish was done I transferred it to a plate and sauteed tomatoes, olives, herbs and garlic. I topped the fish with the mixture and crumbled feta on top. Delicious! Roasted broccoli and roasted potatoes on the side.

Sullie says HAPPY FRIDAY! 😀

{ 41 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Holly @ Pink Runner June 2, 2011, 10:57 pm

    Fast pace on the treadmill! The treadmill can be so great for speed work! I wish I had a Trader Joe’s near me, but maybe I would spend too much money… ps the chocolate with sea salt is fantastic!

  • 2
    Matt @ The Athlete's Plate June 2, 2011, 10:58 pm

    I do the same thing at whole foods!

    • 3
      Jen June 3, 2011, 9:58 am

      matt – i LOVE whole foods. when we lived in birmingham it was on my way home from work. if i had a bad day i would just stop by and walk around and always leave in a better mood. it’s a happy place for foodies!!! 🙂

  • 4
    Danielle June 2, 2011, 11:08 pm

    Chocolate with sea salt is amazing!

    • 5
      Jen June 3, 2011, 9:59 am

      i had a nibble last night and i have to agree with you! 🙂

      • 6
        Mary Beth June 4, 2011, 1:37 pm

        Beware the Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds with Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar. You will need a 12 step program to recover from your addiction to them! We don’t have one in our city, so when we go, we really stock up!

  • 7
    Heather June 2, 2011, 11:12 pm

    I do the same thing! And it’s always on the most random stuff. Last time it was all snacks (dried apricots, pineapple, almonds, etc) and different kinds of teas.

    I miss TJ’s like whoa!

    And that fish looks & sounds incredible. I could live off of feta and kalamata olives, so I can’t wait to try it.

    • 8
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:07 am

      heather – i pretty much love putting “greek spin” on anything. always tasty! 🙂

  • 9
    Alaina June 2, 2011, 11:29 pm

    Such a problem with TJ’s! I was actually just there today and spent $60. I love their nut butters, breads, frozen items (mandarin chicken!) and cereal bars.

    • 10
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:07 am

      alaina – i haven’t tried many of the frozen items. what other things do you like besides the chicken? i like the veggie burgers.

      • 11
        Alaina June 4, 2011, 1:49 pm

        I really like their frozen pizzas (the alsace style pizza), the veggie burritos and waffles, but mostly I beeline straight for the chicken. 😛 I wanted to try their veggie patties but can’t seem to find them.

  • 12
    Kamaile June 2, 2011, 11:37 pm

    I’m not obsessed yet but we are getting trader joes sometime later this year and I can’t wait. I’ve have been shopping there while on vacation and I can see how easy it us to impulse shop. Hummus & pita and wine are necessary! 🙂 Awww Sullie!!!

    • 13
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:09 am

      TJs is just made for impulse shopping because you think, “oh that’s so cheap.” but then it all adds up! and yes hummus and wine are good! 🙂

  • 14
    Jacqueline June 2, 2011, 11:40 pm

    Love Trader Joes! But I think they recently got rid of the original hummus (tahini free) which was my fav 🙁

    • 15
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:09 am

      i noticed yesterday that they didn’t have that!

  • 16
    Paige June 3, 2011, 1:05 am

    Funny, another blog I’m subscribed to just asked what everyone buys at TJ’s too! My list:

    Peanut butter
    Toilet paper
    Sausages
    Very cherry blend frozen berries
    Cheese
    Jojoba oil
    Eggplant hummus
    Chocolate covered PB filled pretzels
    Nuts
    Pita and lavash breads
    Pre-cut pineapple
    Tuna
    Ak-mak crackers

    • 17
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:10 am

      paige – that is funny that someone else blogged about TJs recently.

      I have been dying to try the PB filled pretzels but I’m scared I’ll become addicted. The cashier was just telling me last night how delicious they are!

      • 18
        Jenn June 3, 2011, 1:41 pm

        Will power is a must with the PB filled pretzels! I buy them for my husband, who then shares them with our Lab Riley! They both go crazy for them. They are especially delicious crushed atop a bowl of vanilla ice cream! I must say, I only shop at Trader Joe’s (San Luis Obispo, Ca) and find that I save money on my bill, but I definitely have to nix the impulse buys! The gal that blogs at Iowa Girl Eats does a “Trader Joe’s night” dinner, where they try something new. So fun!

        Their wine prices are the best! 🙂

  • 19
    Jen June 3, 2011, 6:23 am

    I have the same problem going to TJ’s! I could have 2 things on my list and I walk out with bags full. Crazy I tell ya!

    • 20
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:11 am

      jen…so good to hear from you! i was actually just thinking about you yesterday! hope all is well 🙂

  • 21
    Becky June 3, 2011, 7:02 am

    I wish TJ’s was closer to me…although it would definitely result in a TJ’s problem! I love their salad dressings, nut butters, dried fruit (especially flattened banana!) and frozen fruit. Love that store!

    • 22
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:11 am

      i haven’t tried the flattened banana – i love keeping stuff like that in my desk. i will check it out. thanks for the recommendation!

  • 23
    Katie June 3, 2011, 7:46 am

    Haha, I have the same problem too! As with whole foods…which can be a HUGE problem. =P But, I live an hour and 25 minutes away from both, so I don’t get there often, and when I do, I stock up!

    • 24
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:12 am

      katie – we are finally getting a whole foods in charlotte later this year and i can’t wait! i miss it so much. i have a whole other list of staples that i love from WF!

  • 25
    Erin Y June 3, 2011, 9:09 am

    I too love Trader Joe’s. We do most of our shopping there and are luck to live in an area with a lot of them around. Have you tried their chocolate sea salt browning bites? They are amazing!I need to figure out how to recreate them at home.

    • 26
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:13 am

      no, i haven’t tried those. they sound awesome! i’ve been dying to try the pb filled pretzels but i think that i’ll become addicted! 😉

  • 27
    Jen June 3, 2011, 9:43 am

    I also have a Trader Joe’s problem. And I’m going there tomorrow. Sigh. I wonder how much the bill will be?

  • 28
    Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) June 3, 2011, 9:47 am

    AWESOME run Jen!! SO speedy! 😀

    And in just under 2 months I will be hitting TJ’s for the first time!! I can’t WAIT!! And woah I am DEFINITELY getting that chocolate!! I should really start saving up…! 😛

    • 29
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:13 am

      emma – you are going to LOVE TJs!

      i was channeling my inner sweet tooth runner on the treadmill yesterday. 😉

  • 30
    Sara June 3, 2011, 9:59 am

    I don’t have a Trader Joe’s problem – I have a Healthy Home Market problem! I’ll stop by for lunch during the weekday, and always leave spending around $40 too. I just can’t resist trying new things!

    • 31
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:15 am

      sara – i haven’t eaten at healthy home market. i will have to try it. i love the earth fare hot/salad bar! i stop at hhm from time to time to pick up things. they have an awesome bulk section!

  • 32
    Sassy in the South June 3, 2011, 10:03 am

    I want to go to Trader Joe’s but am completely intimidated. I don’t know what to buy or what not to buy or where to even start. I’ve been thinking about going for a long time now. Would love an email with your recs.

    • 33
      Jen June 3, 2011, 10:15 am

      no prob – i’ll send it over today! 🙂

  • 34
    erin June 3, 2011, 10:51 am

    I definitely have a Whole Foods problem. We are getting a Trader Joe’s here this summer, and I can’t wait!

  • 35
    Angie June 3, 2011, 12:17 pm

    I buy a lot of the same stuff you do, Jen. I LOVE those pretzels and the chips and hummus are so good. The fruit at TJ’s is really reasonable, too. BTW, I’ve tried the peanut butter filled pretzels…they are delicious! (:

  • 36
    Hannah June 3, 2011, 12:47 pm

    I have a serious addiction to Traders Joes and Whole Foods. I shouldnt go there. but i love them so much more than other grocery stores and everyone is a million times nicer! I love the peanut butter filled pretzels but try to stay away.. also the hummus, salsa, and bags of nuts!..and goat cheese!! 🙂

  • 37
    Cate @ My Running Ambition June 3, 2011, 2:27 pm

    Oh I miss Trader Joes SO much! I love all of their fish and marinated chicken breasts as my favorites, and beyond miss their selection of frozen fruit! My smoothies are a lot more expensive now that I only have whole foods down here! My absolute favorite snack from TJ’s is the spicy black bean dip, usually next to the chips. TO DIE for!

  • 38
    Ginger Holloway June 3, 2011, 3:28 pm

    I absolutely love Trader Joe’s and Healthy Home Market! I could spend lots of time and money in both stores! I love Trader Joe’s Almond Butter, Organic Olive Oil, Whole Wheat English Muffins, Wild Alaskan Salmon, Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, and their Organic Chicken Sausages. But my FAVORITE thing is the Dark Chocolate Covered Ginger — if you like crystallized ginger, you MUST try it.;-)

  • 39
    kat June 3, 2011, 5:23 pm

    Y’all are making me very sad that ASHEVILLE still doesn’t have a friggin’ TJs. It is insane. There is no better market for that place and I have no idea why they haven’t put one here yet. There is even a Facebook page for “Bring Trader Joe’s to Asheville” with literally thousands of fans. At this point, my “problem” only occurs when I go to Charlotte, and yes, then it’s an issue. I stock up on cereal, nut butters, hummus, pizza dough…the list could go on and on. I both anticipate and dread the day it comes here.

  • 40
    Jess June 3, 2011, 9:30 pm

    LOVE that you teach Bodypump! I definitely want to as well when I am older 😀

    Ahhh, Trader Joe’s. I love that place.

  • 41
    Megan@eatmybeets June 6, 2011, 10:08 pm

    This past Saturday, I got a hand basket while shopping at Trader Joe’s because I genuinely thought that I was only getting a few things. I ended up with red marks on my arm for several hours from where the basket was digging into my arm from its heavy weight. My items were stacked up above the brim of the basket, barely balancing, and I had a bottle of wine in hand. That store is just so darn inventive/addictive.

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