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My Field Trip to Trader Joes

​I am lucky enough to have a Trader Joes grocery store relatively close by and try to shop there at least twice a month. What has really helped me has been to formulate a list of foods that I buy on a regular basis. This way, I don’t get home to find out I have forgotten something. The location is just far enough away to hinder a trip back and to get the forgotten item and thus we have to wait a few weeks to have it in stock at the house again. My boys have favorite items and they usually let me know if we are running low.

I mention these items with my private clients and many have asked me to pull together a list of items that I buy at TJ’s to make their first shopping experience a smooth one. Last week I ventured out to the store with notebook and pen and really perused the aisles in order to create a list that I feel will be helpful to all of you.

Remember, I have 4 “real” boys, that have “real” appetites and if you see an item that you may not categorize as “healthy” remember, this is the FOREVER DIET and it is all about balance and moderation.

That being said, I feel a bit better about some of the snack items that the boys like from TJ’s as they are not loaded with chemicals and HCFS (high fructose corn syrup). If you are watching your weight, remember, just because a food label reads Healthy, Lite or All Natural Ingredients, does not mean it is something you can eat all day, every day!

Lastly, I have not listed the obvious, every day items we all purchase on a weekly basis: fruits, veggies, dairy, meat etc… I tried to put the focus on items that I can only get at TJ’s or that I prefer their brand.


Brown Rice Tortillas,

100% Whole Grain Fiber Bread,

Wheat free toaster waffles

TJ’s carries a wide variety of hot and cold cereals that we buy on a regular basis, make sure to look for your favorite. Watch out for the sugar content of some of the “natural” brands, although they may not have HFCS, they may still be high in sugar.

Ready to eat, whole wheat pizza dough and ready to eat garlic and herb pizza dough (in fridge section of produce area)

Whole grain Hard pretzels

Organic brown rice (freezer section)

Quinoa Duo (freezer section)

Vegetable fried rice (freezer section, brown rice version)

Wide variety of whole wheat pastas, regular and brown rice/quinoa varieties

Whole wheat Couscous – in dry food section

Harvest Grains Blend (couscous, orzo, garbanzo beans and quinoa) dry food section


Frozen berries of all kinds, we especially like the mixed berry version with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and blueberries. Frozen pineapple and frozen mango.

Asian vegetable stir fry and Healthy 8 chopped veggie mix (both found in the produce section)

Variety of frozen veggies that we feel compete in taste with fresh: Super sweet cut white corn, roasted corn (amazing taste and easy to add to salsa and mexican dishes), green beans, brussels sprouts

Fire Roasted Bell Peppers and onions (great to have on hand for stir fries)

Vegetable Melange in seasoned butter sauce (nice to have with fancier meal)

Tomato and Basil Marinara sauce – Delicious and lower in sugar than many other brands. We like this flavor but there a several you can select from.


  1. Canned beans – wide variety . Not as pricey as conventional stores and I always keep many varieties in the cupboard.

  2. Humus – too many flavors to list. Take a minute to check out this section of the store!

  3. Steamed Lentils – these are new find for me and I wish I had purchased several boxes. They are quick and easy and taste really good. They are in the produce section.

  4. Tons of nuts and seeds. We particularly like the unsalted, dry toasted sliced almonds

  5. Peanut butter/Almond butter


  1. Everyday spices – come in their own grinder. Inexpensive and useful to have on hand.

  2. Salsa: Need I say more. Huge variety. We try a new one every time I go. Have not had a bad one yet.

  3. Ketchup – No HFCS

  4. Soyaka – Teriyaki sauce. Terrific marinade for fish and chicken

  5. Reduced Guilt Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip


  1. Trader Joes Chicken sausage. Already cooked, quick heat and eat source of protein

  2. Mandarin Chicken: hands down my kids favorite TJ’s item. Tastes like take out. FYI – we only use 1 of the sauce packets to reduce sugar. Not an everyday food but beats some other similar options.

  3. Taquitos – variety of flavors but the black bean and chicken versions are very good. Again, not an everyday food but fun and tasty.

  4. Frozen Burritos – easy grab and go lunch to heat up in the microwave at work or for a pre-practice snack for the kids.


  1. Trader Joe’s cat cookies – their variety of animal cracker without the HFCS

  2. Variety of tortilla chips – many options to try from

  3. Organic popcorn and olive oil

  4. Dark Chocolate…. A girl cannot live on Kale alone 🙂

I hope you find this helpful and as I shop more, I will keep your posted on any new items I find!

To your Health! Noreen

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