I love Trader Joe’s! The nearest one is an hour away so when I go I stock up! A picture is worth 1,000 words, so I headed over to take some photos of some of the foods that I stock up on. Everything listed below is grain, legume, dairy, sugar & artificial additive free. That means no peanuts, no soy or soybeans, no gluten, and no sneaky sugars! Some folks ask, well if you are going to cut all of that out, what’s left? As you will see there is plenty!
Trader Joe’s has so many delicious options in their produce department that are not typically available in my traditional grocery store. The variety of organic produce is always great, and if you need some time saving prepared veggies they are available! Here are a few examples. Certainly there are more options and they will vary from season to season and store to store. Yesterday I picked up some of the Kohlrabi Salad Blend (which is new), Peeled Garlic, ORGANIC Sweet Potatoes (I brought home TWO bags of those!), a bag of potato medley, and if you hate dicing vegetables for salads and recipes grab a container of the Healthy 8 Vegetable Mix. This list is certainly not exhaustive! I regularly pick up a bag of avocados from this department and local tomatoes, lemons, oranges, and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Prepared Food: Meats & More
Of course prepared meats may cost a little more than if you cook everything yourself. However, I find that it is a great thing to have some of these on hand for meals in a hurry or when I just don’t want to cook something. One of my “new favorites” is the Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage. It is rare to find sausage that has no sugar. This sausage is already cooked. I like to remove the casing and crumble it into a skillet with egg and let it heat as the egg cooks. Fast and delicious breakfast! I’ve tried ALL of these, and have most of them in my refrigerator right now! That Sauerkraut is the best, and I enjoy it with the Applegate Organic Beef Hot Dogs.
I pick up Raw California Walnut Pieces, Pecan Pieces, Hazelnuts, Raw Almonds &/or Almond Slivers, Pinenuts, Whatever you need they have it. I generally purchase walnut and pecan pieces (rather than halves) because they are less expensive, and most likely I’m going to chop them, anyway. You’ll also find some packages of snack sized portions of nuts, such as raw almonds. Remember, on the first 30 Days of our challenge, no peanuts (they are actually a legume and not a nut, anyway).
You’ll find about the largest assortment of dried fruit at Trader Joe’s that you will find anywhere. I like to keep stocked up on dried cranberries, berry blend, and I just picked up the Dried Berry Medley for the first time to try. These dried fruits make a delightful addition to all salads, but also chicken salad in particular. If you want to make your own trail mix, you can do it with an assortment of dried fruit, coconut flakes and nuts from TJ’s. Remember when you are purchasing dried fruits to check the nutrition labels. Some dried fruits will have added sugars. Fruit juice is okay as a sweetener, but during your first 30 days on this plan, our goal is to eliminate ALL added sugars and sweeteners.
Here’s where I really stock up when I go to TJ’s, especially since it’s an hour away and generally I don’t go but once every 4-6 weeks. Not pictured here is TJ’s Marinara Sauce. There are only a few that do not have sugar in them. The last time I went, the only one I could find with no sugar was the Marinara Sauce sold in the green can. I’ve seen a couple of others with no sugar, but they weren’t available at either the store in Georgia nor the one in Virginia when I shopped recently. Always read the labels to be sure! I shop for coconut oil, ghee, olive oil & avocado oil at TJ’s. They have a variety of sugar & additive free salsas which I use in recipes rather than on chips. TJ’s Fire Roasted diced tomatoes and their tomato paste in a tube are items I keep in my pantry all the time. For my emergency food stash I picked up cashew cookie Larabars, single serving pouches of olives and some Sacha Inchi Seeds, a super-food I discovered when I was living in Peru. Organic Coconut Amino’s are a great gluten, soy and sugar free alternative to soy sauce. I also keep almond & coconut flour on hand.
I can find some of the best frozen meats & seafood in TJ’s frozen department. From organic chicken breasts, grass fed angus beef, fresh caught tuna & salmon to a variety of perfectly portioned burgers.
Frozen Fruits & Vegetables:
I always pick up an assortment of fruits & vegetables in the frozen section. They have the best variety of frozen organic fruits and vegetables I’ve seen anywhere, and at good prices. I didn’t picture everything here, for sure! In addition to what is below I always pick up a several bags of frozen organic chopped spinach, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and whatever else catches my eye. I can find mashed sweet potatoes all the time at the TJ’s in Georgia, but here in Virginia I am told it is seasonal. Also, I know they have frozen Hatch Valley Chilies at some stores, but not at the one where I shopped today.
Cut flowers are food for my soul and I love having them in my home. Flavored soda waters are great to have on hand, for something fresh and sparkly, and I generally pick up some Kombucha when I’m at TJ’s since it is about 30 cents a bottle less expensive here. Sun dried tomatoes are another item nice to have on hand for salads and recipes.
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