Trader Joe’s Haul/Favorites this May

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Good afternoon – I’m typing this up as I’m watching some dark rain clouds and storms roll across Atlanta. It’s making me feel a little tired because it looks so much later outside than it actually is! That’s alright though, because it gives me an excuse to stay inside and finish my post.

Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip – simply delicious. I’m a fan of Greek yogurt based dips, and this one has been a weekly staple in the fridge. Great for a quick post workout snack on the plantain chips, carrots, tortilla chips, crackers… you name it!

raw milk Cheddar Cheese – this is also a go to for Jeremy & I. We like to eat it melted on eggs, on burgers, or just cuts slices and eating them plain while we are prepping dinner. I also like the fact that it is unpasteurized, meaning many of beneficial factors, including probiotics, are left intact. I won’t do a write up on some of the research I’ve found right now, but you can read more about raw milk and allergy prevention here, http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749%2811%2901234-6/abstract or find a more general write-up here: http://www.drdeborahmd.com/health-benefits-raw-milk . I’m not sure how “raw” the milk actually is, but I can taste a difference.

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TJ’s Roasted Plantain Chips and Chunky Spicy Guacamole– Basic and perfect for potato chip cravings. Slightly thicker than a typical potato chip with just the right amount of salt. I dip these in salsa, the TJ’s Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip, or eat them straight from the bag. The Guac is not really spicy at all, but delicious and fresh tasting!

tjfruit)052615_smDried fruits – I am not a fan of over-sweetened dried fruits, as I think that the sugar already in the fruits is sweet enough; why add more sugar? That’s why I love some of the dried fruit options at TJ’s. My current favorite is probably the TJ’s Dried Persimmons, which have 6 grams of fiber per serving. I just discovered fresh persimmons last year & have trouble finding them, especially now that they are out of season. These make a perfect sweet snack, along with the Dried Unsweetened Just Mango slices, which remind me of a healthier version of the flattened fruit snacks I enjoyed as a kid.

Stockyard Otj_beer_052615atmeal Stout – Jeremy’s pick, but I love it too, even in the summer – it may seem to go against the popular summer beer choices, but this stout is refreshing. A solid 6 pack for $6.99 – really hard to beat and I put it “up there” on my list as one of my favorite stouts.

Ancient Grains Pizza – We love this pizza and try to have one in the freezer for nights when we are low on time or short on groceries; for $4.99, this pizza is a perfect option for minimal food prep. We just preheat the oven, bake for 12-14 minutes,

tj_pizza_052615and BAM – a great meal option. There are 3 servings, each with a bonus 5 grams of fiber with your pizza fix. The crust has a great texture and I love that you can tell there are whole grains in there.

Alright, off to the gym and to pick up Jeremy from work! I had fun with this post, but please feel free to leave feedback if I missed any details, if you have questions, or just want more posts like this!

-HD

Memorial Day

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and this Memorial Day so far. Please don’t forget to stop to think about all who have given their lives in service to our country.image

I got to enjoy Saturday afternoon at the Jazz Festival after kicking around the soccer ball for a bit, but unfortunately had a dead camera battery, so I only have phone pictures. Regardless, the weekend was beautiful, sunny, and the temperature remained in the upper 70’s to low 80’s. It was a perfect weekend to be outside, and Jeremy & I took advantage of the weather to walk almost everywhere, play pick up soccer, and enjoy the music in the park. It’s such a blessing to be able to get outside and move, and we walked several miles every day!

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I also managed to snag some Chobani yogurt and coupons! I tried the Pineapple Coconut and it was delicious!

We have plans to celebrate my dad’s birthday (which was last week but they just got back in town) later this evening, and I picked up some goodies from Trader Joes to share with the family. I’ll share some of my favorite Trader Joes finds tomorrow, but it’s one of my favorite spots to snag some great food (and drinks!).

Off to my parent’s house then to get some rest!

-HD

Victory Bar Review – Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

This morning I woke up and did a quick 12 minute lateral elliptical + 5 minute spin bike cardio session at my apartment gym, then grabbed a bite to eat before work.

After my quick workout this morning, I tried the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Victory Bar from OhYeah! that was new to me, but I’ve been wanting to try for a while! I tend to compare bars like these to Quest bars simply because they follow the approximately 20 grams of Protein, 20 grams of Fiber rule.

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Nutrition: 200 calories, 21 grams of protein, 17 grams of prebiotic fiber, and 6 grams of fat from sources like almond butter.

20150521_130556Ingredients: Protein Blend (Oh Yeah!® Blend Consisting of Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate), Natural Prebiotic Fiber from Vegetable Source (Isomalto-Oligosaccharides), Gluten Free Rolled Oats, Almond Butter, Gluten Free Vanilla Sugar Cookie [Sugar, Rice Flour, Canola Oil, Corn Starch, Natural Flavor, Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate, Soy Lecithin (an Emulsifier), Agave Syrup, Semisweet Chocolate Chips [Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin (an Emulsifier), and Vanilla], Cocoa Butter, Honey, Soy Lecithin (an Emulsifier), Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals, Natural Flavors, Guar Gum, and Sea Salt.

(9/10) Nothing too artificial here, and no artificial sweeteners, which is a plus and sometimes difficult to avoid. The protein is from Whey and Milk protein isolates, and calcium caseinate. The fiber source is a natural prebiotic soluble fiber (Isomalto-oligosaccharides), which is food for you “good” gut bacteria.

Taste (7.9/10): Very sweet, almost too sweet tasting but still good.
Texture (10/10): Softer than a Quest bar, but has chocolate chips and gluten free “cookie” pieces throughout the bar that add a slightly different texture.
Overall (8/10): Enjoyable post workout and I love the nutritional profile. My only complaint would be that the bar is almost too sweet, but it’s still a fun alternative to Quest bars. The biggest difference I see is that there are 8 grams of sugar as opposed to the 3 grams or less in most quest bars, but the sugar comes from more natural sources and shouldn’t throw you off post workout. My favorite Victory bar flavor that I’ve had to this date is the Vanilla Almond, but the Peanut Butter variations are also tasty.

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Sorry, I’m terrible at taking “selfies” but did this for the fun of it! May need to learn some tips from other bloggers, since they seem to get their postworkout photos looking like a pro photo-shoot. I’ll start charging up my Canon camera soon, too, because a phone camera isn’t always the best for image quality.

Note: I was neither compensated nor asked to review this product, however, I often try new things in the health, fitness, and nutrition world and am happy to share my experiences!