Trader Joe’s Fan

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Hey, there! 😉

After the Back on My Feet breakfast this morning, I felt inspired to run, so I grabbed my Garmin, iPod, and set out for a few miles around my neighborhood. It felt so great to get outside and run.

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(Mal just told me that my head looks like a light blub in the photo above. He always seems to know what to say!)

I usually run the same few routes near my house, but I branched out today and discovered a new one, which was scenic, but pretty hilly. After Saturday’s 10K, I definitely need to incorporate more hills into my workouts.

Now that I’m working with the Boston Running Center, going out for a run is never just that. There’s a lot of different ”˜steps’ involved in each run. Today, for example, went like this:

  • Stretch and foam roll at home
  • Warm up with 1-mile run (8:56)
  • Stop and stretch
  • Running drills
  • Run 3 miles (8:35, 8:37, 8:32)
  • Stretch and foam roll at home

The whole process probably took me over an hour to complete, but I’m starting to feel stronger, and I’ve had zero pain in my knee since starting this training program, so I guess it’s working!

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After my run, I showered, blogged, and then headed out to run some errands. My first stop was Petco for some birthday gifts. A VIP (Very Important Pug) turns 2 years old tomorrow!

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Murphy is only has a couple of stuffed toys (since he destroys them all), so I bought him two new ones, which he will get tomorrow on his birthday.

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I also picked up a bunch of treats from the Treat Bar for him!

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How fun! I had a blast picking out goodies for Murphy. I can’t wait to see his excited little pug face tomorrow!

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Then, I hit Trader Joe’s, which, unbeknownst to me, is about a 10-minute drive from my house. Ummm”¦ yea, I live under a rock sometimes.

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Heaven on earth!!!! Seriously, I can’t explain how much I love this place! 

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The first item I threw into my cart:

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Apparently, Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels are a fan favorite. GO BRUINS!!!

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I went into Trader Joe’s without meal planning or creating a shopping list, so I just grabbed what looked good and threw it in my cart. I know this isn’t very cost-effective, but I didn’t end up spending a lot of money, so, hopefully, my purchases get us through the week.

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Now that Trader Joe’s is back in my life, I’m looking for some recommendations. What items are must-buys? What are your favorites?


I incorporated a bunch of my TJ’s purchases into lunch today. I had some Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels and TJ’s brand Greek Yogurt with chia seeds sprinkled on top. The Greek yogurt was sooooo creamy! It almost seemed whipped. Mmm!

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I also ate half of a pink grapefruit, broccoli florets, and a carrot. Gotta get those nutrients in where you can!

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After lunch, I satisfied my sweet tooth with a dark chocolate Adora disk dipped into peanut butter and plenty more Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels. <— I doubt the bag will last more than 24 hours.

Off to walk the pug!



  1. We don’t have TJs in Canada, but my friends and blog readers know me well enough that I’ve been lucky to try lots of the products.

    My two must-haves are Flattened Bananas and Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds. Best almond butter EVER. The Sunflower Seed Butter is pretty delicious too.

  2. I LOVE trader Joe’s and I am very lucky to have 2 of them within 15 min. of my house! Here are some of my favorites:

    Almond Butter with Flaxseeds
    Giant White Beans (come in a glass jar with sauce)
    TJ’s Steel Cut Oatmeal (in canister)
    Frozen Steel Cut Oatmeal (for when you are in a hurry)
    Honey Wheat Pretzels
    Low Fat Rice and Bean Burritos
    Chocolate Covered Banana Slices
    Peach Pops
    Variety of Nuts
    Olive Oil Spray
    Low Fat Coconut Milk (in a can- very cheap)
    Israeli Couscous
    Whole Wheat Couscous

    I can go on and on… Lol.

  3. You lived so close to a Trader Joe’s and didn’t know about it?! Haha, that sounds like something I would do, too… I can be a real airhead at times. Like, for instance, I spent 2 years lusting over other bloggers’ frozen yogurt, before I discovered that there’s actually not one but TWO self-serve frozen yogurt places right downtown! D’oh.

  4. The vegan meatballs are a staple at our house. I make a quick marinara, throw the balls in and serve it over polenta. Yum. Also just had the fresh pesto the other day. No reason to make my own anymore!

  5. Too funny. I’d recognize that Trader Joe’s/Panera anywhere. Go South Shore 😉 haha it’s right down the street from my parents house.

  6. If you want to inhale as much chocolate as possible: dark chocolate peanut butter cups. THEY. ARE. HEAVEN.

    Other than that, I love their enchilada sauce and sprouted tofu!

  7. Everything is good at Trader Joe’s! I tried their creamy almond butter for the first time yesterday (it was my first time EVER trying almond butter), and I fell in love. My dad is obsessed with the wasabi mayo. It’s great to add to sauces. I also get a lot of good high-fiber cereal from there, and the frozen food I have eaten is fantastic. They have great turkey burgers. And, of course, there is cheap (but good, by my standards) wine! Enjoy TJ’s- you will love it!

    Happy birthday to Mr Murphy!!!!

  8. I often ask myself how I managed to survive before Trader Joe’s. I’m just glad we now live in a world where it exists!

  9. Dark Choc and Sea Salt Almonds
    Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Organic Broccoli Slaw
    Pretzel Bread
    Mac and Cheese Balls
    Dark Chocolate Covered Toffee with Roasted Pistachios
    Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
    Mushroom and herb Risotto
    Ginger Sesame Salad Dressing
    Parmesan Ranch Salad Dressing
    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

    I could go on and on!

  10. Turkey Meatballs ( these are the best!!)
    Frozen Garlic Naan
    Chocolate covered JoJos
    Mini peanut butter cups
    Chocolate covered powerberries

  11. WINE!!!
    Peanut butter with flax seeds
    Bag of 4 avocados for $4.99!
    Mano Cranberry fiber muffins
    TJ’s unsweetend refrigerated almond milk
    Olive oil
    Freeze dried fruit
    Cheeses of all kinds
    chicken sausage (sweet Italian)
    Whole wheat hamburger and hot dog buns (100% whole wheat, $1.99, and 110 calories each!)
    Whole wheat pizza dough
    Rustic multigrain bread
    Seeded sourdough
    Organic light whipped cream cheese
    Frozen carrot cake
    Multi colored chocolate covered sunflower seeds
    Chocolate covered power berries
    white bean BASIL hummus!
    Guacamole hummus!
    reduced guilt multigrain pita chips
    prepared greek salad
    tuscan italian dressing
    all natural sugar free dark chocolate with almonds
    TJ’s plain 0% greek yogurt with fiber
    fiberful fruit leather

  12. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are my two favorite grocery shops. In Trader Joe’s… I really like some of their prepared foods like the rosemary chicken in wild rice pilaf… the stuffed bell peppers are also good. As for snacks… I like the pirate booty in white cheddar or ranch. It’s ALMOST like you’re eating air {kind of like cotton candy}… so you feel totally guiltless when you snack on it!

  13. I love TJs too! Here is what I am currently loving:
    Peach Pops (like freezee ices but with real peaches)
    Frozen bananas covered in chocolate
    Chipotle Hummus (holy yum! I just made a homemade batch–delicious)
    Everything Pretzel Crisps
    Low Carb Tortillas (I don’t care about carbs but I like the taste of these)
    Frozen wild caught tuna and salmon steaks

    Your giant carrot had me cracking up! It looks so big compared to everything else!

  14. Wowza! Everyone is getting hot and bothered by the TJ’s post!

    I am a bit obsessed with their strawberry coconut milk ice cream (especially with some Joe-Joe’s crumbled up in it).

    Bistro cookies (like Biscoff cookies!)

    Roasted Garlic Hummus

    Ready to eat Baby Beets

    Organic Peanut Butter (unsalted smooth)

    Sunflower butter

    And here’s a thread on the Post Punk Kitchen forums where we just talk about snacks from TJ’s.

  15. I think you should make a regular Trader Joes “love” post! I am one of those people that loves to see what people buy from TJs. I love just about everything there, but I am a big fan of:
    * dark chocolate bar w/ caramel and black sea salt
    * dark chocolate covered almonds with turbinado sugar and sea salt
    * guacamole hummus
    * pecans w cranberries and rosemary
    * Falafel (freezer section)

    I could go on and on, but I won’t! <3 Trader Joes!

  16. I love trader joes – in my opinion they are a lot cheaper than whole foods. there’s one directly across from the rock gym my bf goes to in maine and i always grab a banana (they’re 19 cents!) for a pre climbing snack

  17. I love love LOVE Trader Joe’s! I always get agave nectar, artichokes, sliced almonds, WINE, raspberry lambic, maple syrup and tofu!

  18. my fav items at TJ’s are:

    honey wheat pretzels
    unsalted almond butter
    quinoa bread (SOOOO good w/the almond butter)
    fruit & nut multigrain medley cereal
    organic breakfast blend coffee

    yum yum yum!

  19. I LOVE Trader Joe’s! I just discovered the peanut butter filled pretzels and they did not last long. I need to get an endless supply. I love their frozen items (pizza, mandarin chicken, burritos), cereal bars, breads, everything! It’s a dangerous store. 🙂

  20. I read this post yesterday, and then went to trader joe’s for the first time today. & i’m pretty sure I was at this one because that panera was there and the petco was to the left! south shore?!

  21. love trader;’s joe. i go there for unsalted almond butter, dried cherries, they also have some good hummus, love the cheap wines, free samples, and the dried mangoes. 😛

  22. The best thing at TJ’s (besides the free samples and wine tasting) is the Chicken and Cilantro mini won tons, they are .5g fat for 5 of them and they are amazing. I usually reward myself with like 40 after a long run!
    Come out to Oregon and tour some Willamette Valley wineries!
    Also, great cheese and wine!!!!

  23. I love TJ’s and almost all of my go to stuff is listed, but my few tips are this:

    * know your prices of common items – it may seem cheaper but the portion is MUCH smaller. Other times it seems cheap, but you can get it cheaper at a grocery store. Bagged salad mixes, dressing and frozen items are usually better deals here.

    * I’m not a HUGE fan of their “fresh” produce. Often times everything is under ripe or over ripe.

    But I do love their bagged organic spinach which is cheaper than your average store, and their bagged herbed salad mix.

  24. I second, third and fourth the dark chocolate covered almonds with turbinado sugar and sea salt!

    The dark chocolate peanut butter cups are amazing.

    And I eat the low fat granola almost every day.

  25. We r getting a TJ’s next month! Super excited!! Whenever I go, I always stock up on grapeseed oil (for cooking), dark chocolate covered powerberries (slap yo momma yummy), harvest grain blend (couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa), apricot/mango greek yogurt (best gy everrr), goat cheese (so cheap) and a case of wine (no explanation needed).

    We usually buy doggie toys for cheap at the dollar general/dollar store. Our shepherd and weimeraner just tear ’em up as soon as they get them anyway!

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