Trader Joe’s Haul

I finally went to Trader Joe’s! And it was awesome. I used to love Whole Foods but I am definitely making the switch over to Trader Joe’s now. While Whole Foods has more options (like a deli, meat/butcher, etc), Trader Joe’s wins in overall value. Things are much cheaper at TJ’s and some items I found were less than even at my normal grocery store. #winning

I wanted to share with you all what I picked up. I didn’t get a ton of stuff, but a few things to get me through the week. Here they are:

photo 1Above there is some Ezekiel bread, all-natural, hormone-free chicken, turkey bacon, mushrooms, and all-natural turkey breast slices. I made a delicious collard wrap with my turkey slices for lunch today which I can’t wait to eat. For dinner, I made some chicken stew in the crockpot.


Here we got a pineapple, eggplant (because I have only had it like…once…and keep hearing how good it is), onions, and a pomegranate to try eating as a snack.

IMG_0265Lastly, I picked up some avocados, tomatoes, fresh apples, and organic, grass-fed beef. While grass-fed beef is a bit pricey, my mom and I decided it’s worth the investment so we’re not eating meat with a bunch of hormones and other added stuff in it. In order to save money, we will be eating 1-2 meatless dishes a week (which is also healthier too!).

I can’t wait to eat delicious, clean meals this week. As I wrote this morning, I was frustrated last week with my lack of progress, and wasn’t eating that great. I’m ready to get back into it this week because being healthy is much more than just looking good on the outside.

Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? What are your favorite grocery store items you HAVE to pick up each time? Mine are bananas!


Motivational Monday!

I have been pretty busy this past week as it’s been the first week of the semester. I already have a lot of assignments and projects to work on, both academic and personal. While it can be stressful at times, I like knowing that everything I am doing is to achieve a certain goal.

I love this quote from Finding Nemo! In stressful times, it’s important to remember to just keep “swimming.” If you’re working towards goals, be grateful for the opportunities presented to you even if it means you’re busier than ever. In the end, it’s all worth it.

But it can be taken in so many other ways too. This past week I have also been feeling so frustrated that I haven’t been seeing the results I’ve wanted from exercising and eating clean. I will admit to eating a few too many bowls of cereal and a few cookies this week due to this frustration. But I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday, bought a bunch of healthy food, and am ready to keep going. Even when you don’t see the results you want, just keep going. Keep exercising. Keep eating healthy. The benefits go so much farther than just looking good. You are helping your body be healthy, and giving it the nutrients it needs.

Have you ever been in a rut where you feel like you’re not seeing results? Trader Joe’s snapped me out of it…what snapped you out of it?


Fruit is Healthy…Right?

First off, happy Friday everyone! I’m actually sad it’s Friday, because it’s my last weekend before my winter break is over. My break has been so relaxing and I am kind of dreading going back to school. But, I can’t complain too much, since I’ll be graduating with my Master’s in May!

Anyway…today’s post could be controversial, which is why it’s filed under my “Thinking Out Loud” tab ;)

We’ll be discussing FRUIT.

I randomly thought about writing this as I walked by the smoothie shop at the mall the other day. Fruit smoothies are healthy right? Well, I won’t be saying that’s wrong because yes, fruits are obviously healthy and nutritious. But if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a certain weight, as with everything, fruit should be eaten in moderation.

Fruits contain a lot of sugar, and while it is obviously different than sugar found in candy bars or cookies, this sugar means fruit has higher calories than a vegetable for example. According to CNN Health Expert Dr. Melina Jampolis,

Fruits and vegetables, which are higher in water and fiber and lower in calories than other foods, are less likely to cause weight gain or prevent weight loss, as you would have to eat much larger portions to consume too many calories. However, fruit has almost three times the calories per serving as nonstarchy vegetables, so it is easier to consume too many fruit calories, which can interfere with weight loss. I frequently see patients who think of fruit as a “free food” and are unknowingly consuming up to 250 extra calories a day, which could prevent them from losing one pound of fat every two weeks!

She recommends sticking to 3 servings per day. I also recommend making sure you eat the correct serving size, and also look at nutritional facts for different fruits. Bananas and apples contain more calories, carbs and sugar than berries do. I try to eat more berries, and save the banana or apple for a pre or post-workout snack.

I would also be wary of those fruit smoothies. Sometimes I see people posting pictures of their smoothies, yet the ingredients are all fruits. That is a looootttt of sugar and hundreds of calories. The calories are fine, depending on your goals, but sugar, even if it’s natural, should be limited.

Also, don’t kid yourself into thinking drinking a cup or orange or apple juice counts as fruit. That is not a serving of fruit! Check the ingredients. Most likely, it’s fruit concentrate (and has preservatives).

The CDC has a great calculator that tells you how much fruit and veggies you should eat depending on your age, sex and activity level. According to this, I should have 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of veggies per day. If I made a multi-fruit smoothie, that would be way over my alotted amount. They also provide nutritional information for different fruits, and what fruits to eat if you are trying to lose weight.

Remember, everything is good in moderation. Yes, fruits are healthy, full of fiber, and nutritious, but you just need to make sure you’re not eating too much. Stick to berries, and save the higher calorie fruits for a pre or post-workout snack. I love bananas and apples with peanut butter!

What is your take on fruit? What’s your favorite fruit? Mine’s definitely bananas!

Find my other “Thinking Out Loud” posts here.


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Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day *Thanksgiving Edition*

It’s almost Thanksgiving!! What are your plans? Are you as excited to stuff your face as I am? Hey, I also plan on going to the gym today, tomorrow and on Black Friday (does shopping count as exercise too?).

Here are some Thanksgiving related tips and info for you!

I hope you were able to draw some ideas from these helpful links. Again, I think it’s perfectly fine to indulge, just try to workout the day before, of, or after. If you can’t, then just don’t go crazy with the mashed potatoes and stuffing. One day will not make or break you and your success thus far. Don’t be too hard on yourself this Thanksgiving!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? What do you plan on indulging in? Mine is mashed potatoes..yummmm


My Grocery Shopping List

Curious as to what I buy every week at the store? Want ideas as to what you should buy? I hope this video helps to give you some direction! I am missing a lot, since this is just what I got this week, but hopefully you get the idea. Basically, stock up on veggies, fruit and your favorite protein sources.

Let me know what you think! What are your grocery store must-haves? Do we buy the same stuff?


Easy Recipe – Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf!

I originally found this recipe via PaleOMG and thought I need to try this. I love meatloaf, I love chicken, and I love things with easy prep time.

I will put her recipe below, and list what my modifications were in bold. I didn’t have some ingredients, but it still turned out delicious and was a hit with my family! The only main thing missing was onions and celery, so I guess when I throw those in it will be even better!

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf (source: PaleOMG)
Prep time:  5 mins *prep time really did only take 5 minutes. Perfect.
Cook time:  30 mins
Total time:  35 mins
Serves: 2-4 *I doubled everything because I needed it to serve 5, and wanted leftovers for lunch
  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour or ½ cup almond flour/meal *I didn’t have almond flour, so I used about 3-4 tablespoons of rolled oats instead for binding purposes
  • 3-4 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Red Hot)
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced *I didn’t have this but will add next time
  • ¼ small yellow onion, diced *I didn’t have this but my mom isn’t a huge fan of onions anyway
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder *I used 1.5 teaspoons of diced garlic instead of powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper *I didn’t have this so I used basil for seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to mix thoroughly.
  3. Plop mixture into two mini loaf pans OR one large loaf pan. You make the call my friend.
  4. Bake for 25-35 or until chicken is completely cooked through.
  5. I used the poke technique. Poke the meat, if it sinks in, like it’s uncooked, it probably is.
  6. Let cool.
  7. Eat.

As she says, it really is SO easy. Therefore, it’s also easy to make extra for leftovers. Which is what I am eating for lunch as I type this :)

I have never had meatloaf made out of ground chicken before, but I already know this will be a staple in my household.

Let me know if you decide to try this, and what you think!

Final Product =)


Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

It’s Wednesday! This time next week we will all be preparing for Thanksgiving…yessss :-D

Here are some great links for you today!

  • 5 Ways to Beat Sugar Cravings (Detoxinista) – Some really good tips here. She’s totally right…once you wean yourself off of sugary things, like cookies, sweets, and even adding sugar into your coffee, you will be surprised at how your body adapts. When I have a coffee with sugar now, it tastes TOO sweet. Try weaning yourself off the sugar!
  • How to Warm Up Before Running in Cold Weather (Fit Sugar) – Running outside in the winter can be tough. AND it’s especially important to warm up properly before heading out. Make sure you do!
  • 10 Tips to Maximize Your Morning Run (Fit Bottomed Girls) – This doesn’t have to be just for runners. If you want to wake up and hit the gym, these tips serve you well too. When I want to (try) to wake up and workout, I usually sleep in my workout clothes…and still fail to get out of bed :)
  • Curious About Kale? (Wannabe Health Nut) – I love kale. I use it in my green smoothies and it’s amazing. You can also make delicious kale chips, or kale salad…the options are endless! Kale is packed with nutrients. If you haven’t tried it yet, add this to your shopping list!
  • 4 Essentials for Stress-Free Travel (Fit Sugar) – Traveling this holiday season? Follow these tips to make sure you stay in tip-top condition and healthy.

Poll: Are you an AM runner/gym-goer? How do you do it? Because I just cannot get up early for the life of me!


Have you ever tried a green smoothie?

I love green smoothies. What a great way to get your veggies in. I’m not a big fan of vegetables so if I can drink them that’s perfect.

I was drinking green smoothies regularly over the summer but then fell off. I am trying to get back into it now, and have been having one for breakfast (along with some eggs or something for protein). This is what I made this morning:

Yes, I know it doesn’t look like the most appetizing thing in the world…but I promise you, you don’t really taste the veggies at all!

This smoothie was:

  • a handful of frozen kale
  • a handful of baby carrots
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup water

I could only taste the banana. Think about all of the nutrients packed into this 1 smoothie! I would highly recommend it as something for breakfast, or a midday snack. Here are other smoothie recipes I have made in the past:

Green Machine

  • handful of frozen kale (you can also use spinach)
  • 3-4 pieces of celery that comes already cut up (the pieces are the size of your finger)
  • 1 banana

Lots of Veggies!

  • handful of frozen kale (or spinach)
  • 3-4 pieces of celery
  • handful of baby carrots
  • 1 banana

Simple Smoothie

  • 1 apple
  • handful of baby carrots

More Fruit!

  • handful of frozen kale (or spinach)
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1/2 an apple
  • your choice of celery or carrots

Lean and Green

  • 1/4 cup egg whites (for protein)
  • handful of frozen kale (or spinach)
  • your choice of celery or carrots
  • 1 banana or 1 whole apple

Very Berry

  • handful of kale (or spinach)
  • 3-4 pieces of celery
  • 4-5 strawberries
  • 1/2 a banana

*I use 1 cup water for all my smoothies.

These are just some of my ideas…there are many more combos of veggies and fruit you can try! Also, you can try using almond milk instead of water if you want it to be more filling and frothy. If you want protein, you can add egg whites (you can’t really taste them either, but it does have somewhat of an after taste), or protein powder. I have never tried adding protein powder, so I’m not sure what that will taste like.

Do you drink green smoothies? Which recipe will you try?


Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Hope your week is going by fast! Mine certainly is. My sister comes home tomorrow for the weekend which will be fun and exciting! We have a family wedding on Friday night, so I’m really looking forward to that.

This week I actually discovered a few new blogs. I found some awesome recipes and other links I’ll share in the coming weeks.

Anyways, here are your links!

Poll: Do you use a crock pot? How do you like it? I’m thinking of getting one so I can come home and have dinner ready. I usually get home, my mom and I go to the gym, come back around 7ish, and then start cooking. Hmmm…


Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Some of you may be bored at home this week since many schools and workplaces have declared the day off (on the East Coast at least). If you have power, check out these great links I found this week!

  • What to Toss and What to Keep After a Power Outage (Huffington Post) – Good info for those of us experiencing power outages. Thankfully, we have a power generator, but if you don’t, definitely read this!
  • Light Banana Latte Frappe – (Undressed Skeleton) This looks delicious! Absolutely need to try this. Only thing I would add is peanut butter or protein powder for some protein.
  • 15 Tips to Be Healthy and Fit in College (Fit Bottomed Girls) – Being in college can sometimes make being health tough. Dining halls have healthy options, but there is so much other stuff you want (um, hello unlimited ice cream?). Here are some great tips for you if you’re in college…and even if you’re not!
  • Healthiest Fast-Food Options (Fit Sugar) – Stuck out with no packed food and your only option is fast food? Choose one of these healthier options!
  • Reneging on Egg Yolks (Tony Gentilcore) – Another great post by trainer, Tony Gentilcore. Eat those egg yolks people! Eggs are packed with nutrition and protein. I love eggs. They are so versatile too…have them for breakfast, put them in salads, etc.

Do you eat eggs/egg yolks?