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Loving Lately: Food Edition

This week’s posts have been heavy on the food topics and I’ve got another one for you today. I will try to get a new workout up for you tomorrow. Any requests? I’m thinking lots of squats! πŸ™‚

I always like to get recommendations from others on new food products to try. I have discovered SO many new things this way. I like to return the favor now and then so here areΒ several that I’ve been loving lately.


Braswell’s Fig Preserves. I have been spreading this stuff on everything lately from sandwiches to oatmeal to cheese plates. This company offers all kinds of interesting flavors of jams and preserves and they’re all packaged in juice glasses or old fashioned glasses. I really like the texture of their fig preserves. It has small pieces of fig scattered throughout but no big chunks. Makes it perfect as a sandwich spread.


I especially love it paired with Trader Joe’s salted peanut butter on toast or oatmeal. Sweet and salty!


Almond Breeze is now offering their almond milk in a gallon size. I use a lot of almond milk between cooking, baking, smoothie making and oatmeal so this is practical and economical!


I have been all about soup with lunch lately (as you’ve seen from my recent eats photos!) and this is one of my favorites. Of course, I prefer to make my own soup but the convenience of having pre-packaged items on hand is hard to beat. I like this Organic Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper soup from Trader Joe’s best, though I usually buy the reduced sodium version because one thing I cannot handle about canned/pre-packaged soup is the sodium content.


Today’s lunch was grilled cheese and the Trader Joe’s tomato soup.


I LOVE a good Dijon mustard. I like to feel the burn. This Dijon mustard from Trader Joe’s is perfectly “hot” and I’ve been using it for sandwiches, dressings, dipping sauces, cooking and more. It’s crazy how much difference it makes to use a high quality ingredient for something like mustard. The taste is totally different!


I’m so excited that Starbucks is carrying Evolution juices. I will say that they charge about $1 more for than Whole Foods for them but it’s nice to have a green juice option at Starbucks. I like the Sweet Greens and Lemon blend. (Which is actually not too sweet at all.)


Although I am MORE than ready to say goodbye to brussels sprouts for the year, I haven’t been able to get enough of these shredded sprouts. They’ve been a weekly staple in my fridge.


I also recently purchased kimchi for the first time but I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet. It’s a very popular food in Korea. It’s a fermented cabbage. Fermented foods (which I typically enjoy) are really good for gut health. Who has tried kimchi? What do you like to eat it with? I need ideas!

Any new food finds? What are you loving lately?Β 

{ 47 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Hayley C March 19, 2014, 2:49 pm

    Agreed on squats!! I’ve been having a ton of problems with my hip flexor lately which has left me unable to run πŸ™ any tips for strengthening your hip/overcoming a strain? thank you!

    • 2
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:22 am

      i’m sorry to hear you are side lined from running. i know how frustrating that is.

      you need to be sure to both stretch and strengthen your hip flexors. first, use something like a lacrosse or tennis ball in the hip flexor to loosen up adhesions and scar tissue. second, stretch doing things like low lunges and the couch stretch (google it). finally, strengthening exercises. things like slow mountain climbers with gliding discs (kind of mimics the “pull” you need when running) and resistance band exercises. you should be able to google and find a lot of great PT exercises for hip flexor strengthening and rehab.

      good luck with recovery and let me know if you have any questions!

  • 3
    Dotsie March 19, 2014, 2:55 pm

    I’d love to find those shredded sprouts in my town!

    • 4
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:22 am

      i’ve only seen them pre-shredded at trader joe’s.

  • 5
    Cristiane March 19, 2014, 2:57 pm

    Kimchi!!! Cube some of your favorite type of cucumber, mix up with some kimchi and you have a delicious refreshing but spicy salad. The cucumber helps to cut some of the heat as well. Goes very well with a home made bibimbap or as an appetizer.

    • 6
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:23 am

      oh, that sounds really good and simple. thank you!

  • 7
    Leah March 19, 2014, 3:00 pm

    Starbucks actually owns Evolution Fresh πŸ™‚

  • 9
    Shannon March 19, 2014, 3:08 pm

    Ooh I really like kimchi actually – it takes some getting used to, and the kind I had was pretty spicy, but it definitely is good for digestion!

    I agree too, I love a good spiced dijon mustard. πŸ™‚

    Gotta get me that Almond milk gallon size!!

  • 10
    Allyssa March 19, 2014, 3:08 pm

    I would love for you to post a squats workout πŸ™‚ I also adore trader joes, soo much goodness πŸ™‚

  • 11
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 19, 2014, 3:16 pm

    Almond Milk in a gallon!? That’s awesome! I really want to try the coconut almond breeze – I’ve seen it a couple times but never tried it yet!

    • 12
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:23 am

      it’s good! not too coconut flavored but subtle. good way to switch up smoothies and oatmeal a bit.

  • 13
    Samantha @ The Faithful Runner March 19, 2014, 3:33 pm

    I LOVEEEEE Trader Joe’s tomato soup!!! So delicious!

  • 14
    Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} March 19, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Loving the Brussel spouts! And the gallon size for almond milk just made my day! πŸ™‚

  • 15
    Rajul March 19, 2014, 4:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Love products that come in cool jars and definitely want to try those shredded Brussels! I will suggest that peanut butter is quite a bit safer organic and as is an almond milk without carrageenan. At the same time, I know organic cheese is better but my two favorite (nonorganic) cheeses recently are rosemary asiago are Syrah soaked Toscana from Trader Joe’s! Honey wise, love our local Cloister Honey which comes in all sorts of flavors and in a spreadable form too. Let me know if you want some because the owner is a pal and I can get you a good deal!

    • 16
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:25 am

      i hear you on the peanut butter but i LOVE tj’s crunch salted so much. nothing else compares. i’ll keep searching! πŸ™‚

      i have also been buying that syrah toscana from TJ’s on the regular. i need to pick up some of the cloister honey. i prefer to buy local honey for all the good allergy benefits.

  • 17
    Kat March 19, 2014, 4:05 pm

    Kimchi fried rice! Savoury kimchi and scallion pancakes dipped in soy sauce, although the batter needs to be quite thick. Kimchi, veggie and pork stirfry over plain rice or egg noodles! My fave….kimchi dumplings – mix some minced pork, lots of grated ginger, scallions, some cornflour or tapioca starch to act as binder (not too much or it’ll be very chewy), a dash of soy sauce, pepper and looottts of kimchi (as much as you dare!), drop 1 or 1.5 teaspoon(s) per dumpling wrapper (the round ones), dab some water on the edges, fold in a crescent and pinch the edges tightly, boil til they float on top and enjoy…orrrrr after having boiled them, panfry them. Raw dumplings freeze very well, sprinkle with some flour on top to prevent them from sticking together before popping ’em in the freezer.

    • 18
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:26 am

      kat – thank you so much for the suggestions. they all sound awesome! i definitely need to get on the homemade dumplings train. i love them so!

  • 19
    Jojo @ RunFastEatLots March 19, 2014, 4:06 pm

    Cool I didn’t know almond milk comes in a gallon size now! I will look for it next time I go to the grocery store. And now I want to go to Trader Joes lol

  • 20
    Allie March 19, 2014, 4:35 pm

    I love kimchi!! I eat it with a fork, plain! So good for digestion and believe me I need all the help I can get πŸ™‚

    • 21
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:26 am

      perfect, thank you!

  • 22
    Stepfanie March 19, 2014, 4:39 pm

    I lived in Korea for a year and ate kimchi at almost every meal (even breakfast). I love it and now make my own.
    It’s great on its own, though that might not be the best way to first taste it. Though I’m now vegan, I loved it in Korea sauteed with pork or beef in a stir fry (if there’s a bit of fat in the pan, even better). It also makes great (not so) fried rice: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=362233
    Kimchi jjigae is a delicious soup/stew that’s made with pork, beef or tuna (the tuna version is called chamchi kimchi jjigae, and it was my favorite): http://koreanfood.about.com/od/soupsandstews/r/Kimchichigae.htm
    Those should get you started. πŸ™‚

    • 23
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:27 am

      thanks so much for taking the time to share these suggestions stefanie! what were you in korea for?

      • 24
        Stepfanie March 20, 2014, 10:40 am

        I taught essay writing (and paid off a ton of debt) back in 2005-06. I learned to speak Korean, though it’s quite rusty now. I almost ended up staying and taking a job at an English-language newspaper but ultimately decided to travel and then come back to the States.
        Btw, I live in Asheville and teach/practice Ashtanga! πŸ™‚ We have a new Mysore style session on Sundays with an awesome teacher named Tanya that you might like. And if you haven’t taken a class at AYC with Lewis, you should try his Saturday morning led class. He’s been teaching for 20+ years and studied with David Swenson.

  • 25
    She Rocks Fitness March 19, 2014, 5:57 pm

    I am going to have to see if the TJ’s near me has the shredded brussel sprouts. I would love to use those instead of the whole ones, since I may have overdone those the past couple of weeks. LOL! I am loving my NatureBox snacks that I received in the mail this week. PB Nom Noms and Chili Lime Pistachios. YUMMY!

    • 26
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:27 am

      you can also use the raw shredded in salads!

  • 27
    Chris March 19, 2014, 6:28 pm

    Kimchi is delicious! Usually used as a side to other dishes. Lovely with any kind of spicy food like curry.

    Question for you Jen – you mentioned that you use a lot of almond milk. Do you avoid regular milk and iany reason if so? Just curious!

    • 28
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:28 am

      nope! i just prefer the taste of almond milk in my smoothies and oatmeal and it keeps longer than most regular milk. i get lots of dairy in from cheese and greek yogurt! πŸ™‚

  • 29
    Kim @FITsique March 19, 2014, 9:05 pm

    I love Kimchi! I mostly use it in stir frys or on sandwiches. It took me a few tries to learn to like it, but now I love it. I actually have recently learned to make my own and am a regular at the local Asian supermarket! I hope you like it! Give it a few chances!

    • 30
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:28 am

      awesome! thanks. i think i’ll like it. i like spicy and fermented foods! πŸ™‚

  • 31
    Anne March 19, 2014, 9:45 pm

    I grew up with Kimchi (I’m half Korean), and it’s amazing! It is an acquired taste so it might take a couple tries to determine whether or not you enjoy it πŸ™‚

    • 32
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:29 am

      i love spicy and most other fermented foods so i hope i like it! i’ll report back!

  • 33
    Gina March 20, 2014, 2:09 am

    If you like fried rice, Kimchi fried rice is definitely the way to go! Just stir fry the garlic, eggs, shrimp/protein choice, and leftover rice with a generous dash of tamari/soy sauce.. towards the end, stir in a couple of tablespoons of kimchi plus some of the kimchi “juice” for flavour.

    Another method is to do an egg scramble and stir in the kimchi towards the end, too!

    For optimum health benefits from the Kimchi, try not to cook it over high heat so the probiotics remain intact.. which is why the above recipes call for adding it towards the end πŸ™‚

    • 34
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:29 am

      perfect. thank you gina! great suggestions and good to know about the high heat. make sense!

  • 35
    Jenn@Mark My Miles! March 20, 2014, 5:29 am

    Too funny, When I was pregnant I craved tons of fermented foods and Kimchi was one of them!!!!

    • 36
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:30 am

      that is funny! love hearing about various pregnant woman cravings! πŸ™‚

  • 37
    Runner Girl Eats March 20, 2014, 6:37 am

    Grilled cheese and tomato soup is hands down my favorite meal. So comforting and delicious!

    • 38
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:30 am

      me too! in my top 5 comfort food for sure!

  • 39
    Lauren Egan March 20, 2014, 7:44 am

    In response to a new workout for us, how about a full yoga video from you for all of us who can’t attend one of you classes? Would love to experience it. Use your best playlist, too!

    • 40
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:32 am

      hey lauren – yoga instruction videos are definitely something that has been requested many times and is on the horizon for me. it just requires a lot of production, lighting and sound and i want to make sure that it’s good quality for yall. also, the music is tricky because you can’t post copyrighted stuff on youtube. so i’d have to give you a separate playlist to play on your own while you watched the video. kinda crazy!

  • 41
    Amanda March 20, 2014, 10:13 am

    I am super intrigued by that fig preserves! I love figs. I’m excited Almond Breeze had started making gallon jugs. It’s my morning staple. Brussels mmmm I’ve not thought to look for them pre-shredded. I’ve never tried kimchi but I know my dad loves it.

    I’m currently hooked on grilled cheese sandwiches made with pimento cheese.

    • 42
      Jen March 20, 2014, 10:32 am

      you can shred them on your own too using a food processor or your knife skills! πŸ™‚

      love the pimento cheese twist on the grilled cheese. yum!

  • 43
    Liz F. March 20, 2014, 12:46 pm

    I LOVE topping my salads with kimichi or my avocado toast. It adds such a different flavor. YUM!

  • 44
    Rebekah {aCricketSang} March 20, 2014, 2:39 pm

    I just had kimchi for the firs time this past weekend while getting Korean BBQ in NYC with some friends. I can see I’ve been missing out, and I need to experiment with some recipes now!

  • 45
    Hee-Jin March 20, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Though I’m a full-fledged 2nd generation Korean born in America, I grew up eating kimchi and continue consuming it on a near-daily basis even to this day! My absolute favorite way to eat it is alongside brown rice and some baked tofu squares (just simple, pan-fried or oven-baked tofu with a smidge of sea salt)! The tanginess of the kimchi really complements the neutrality of tofu so well – you should definitely try it!! :o)

  • 46
    Miche March 20, 2014, 11:15 pm

    About the kimchi…. In Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisines (and maybe others, but I’m sticking to what I know), pickled foods such as kimchi are enjoyed in small amounts with a large helping of rice and some other savory foods. The mild flavor of the rice balances out the strong flavor of the pickles. I really enjoy Asian pickles alongside foods that have a meaty quality and strong flavors that benefit from being cut by the acidity of the pickles.

  • 47
    Miche March 24, 2014, 12:29 am

    If you’re trying to incorporate more fermented foods, maybe shio koji would be easier to incorporate into your diet than kimchi. It’s the fermentation starter used in soy sauce, miso, etc., and it’s made from rice and a healthy bacteria. I’ve been using it lately to marinate fish and to season veggies, and it’s got a lovely, mild, salty flavor. You can find it at Asian markets.

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