7 Items I Must Buy at Trader Joe’s

Are you trying to make better food decisions on a budget?


Food prices continue to raise and are a current pain point for us.


Food is our largest monthly expense and we’ve done so much slashing of our expenses over the past 6 years that there’s not much more we can cut.


And knowing how our food system is managed, I have a real difficult time budging on quality.


There are couple tricks I do use when grocery shopping:

  • Buy in bulk – things like spices, oats, rice, etc.
  • Buy the least processed form + spend the additional time for the finished product – this one really requires you to plan ahead and make time but buying dry beans and cooking them yourself can slash the price significantly as well as making your own bread.
  • Look for sales – your weekly menu is based on the grocery store’s sales that week or you go and only buy items that are on sale and figure out how to make your meals from that. Also, buying more than you need for the week when an item is on sale – nonperishable items are fantastic to stock up on like canned diced tomatoes, but also meats can be frozen past their expiration date
  • Buy frozen vs fresh – frozen veggies and fruit are picked at their prime ripeness and immediately frozen. This can be a cheaper option than buying fresh
  • Buy in season – fruit and veggie that is being grown at that moment and is local to your area is going to be the cheapest available. Right now you’ll find berry prices are almost half what they were 3 months ago.


Are there staples that you buy every week?


Foods that your family expects to have readily available whenever they want?


It appears that Trader Joe’s prices have MINIMALLY changed.


The awesome part, is they have standards and all their products in stores are not GMOs and do no include synthetic colors or artificial flavors.


There are a handful of items that I always buy at Trader Joe’s:

  • Teeny tiny avocados (6 for $2.99)
  • Organic coconut aminos (2.99)
  • Zico coconut water has no sugar added ($4.29)
  • Organic tri-color bell peppers (4.99 for 3)
  • Organic coconut milk with no other junk added ($1.99 for a can)
  • Organic mini cucumbers ($2.99 for 7)
  • Organic broccoli slaw ($2.49 for 12oz)


I save more than half by going to Trader Joe’s for these items – $33.72 exactly.


I even stock up on avocados! Buying 3 bags at once. They are usually hard as rocks when I get them, let them ripen on the counter, and then move them to the fridge where they will last a couple of weeks.


With raising food costs, I know making healthier food choices can seem impossible, especially if you have multiple mouths to feed or babies that just throw the food on the ground…


But I hope this can help you out a little bit.


Have you figured out ways to not spend a fortune and still get the food and quality you want? I’d love to hear how you are doing it!


If I eat breakfast, I’m going to be eating all day!

Several people have told me they don’t eat breakfast, they feel better if they don’t eat breakfast, they uncontrollably eat all day if they eat breakfast, and they only need coffee for breakfast.


There is so much to unpack here!


First, you’ve most likely learned to adapt your breakfast habits to how you feel, but is that optimal for you or is it working with underlying issues?


Quickly, when told these things I hear:

  • “I don’t eat breakfast” >> “I don’t have the time to eat, I hit the floor running and don’t stop”
  • “I feel better if I don’t eat breakfast” >> “I am unable to digest my food properly and what I ate last night is still sitting there”
  • “I uncontrollably eat all day if I eat breakfast” >> “I don’t know how to build a macro nutrient balanced plate to keep me full before my next meal”
  • “I only need coffee for breakfast” >> “I thrive off cortisol pumping through my body”


Continuing from last week’s discussion, breakfast really is the most important meal!


What you choose to eat to start your day, will dictate your energy, hunger, and mood for the remainder of the day.


Issue with our society, we have made high carb breakfast the socially acceptable breakfast that we can quickly grab and eat in the car on our way to our destination.


Whether it is donuts, bagels, pop tarts, cereal, oatmeal, muffins, waffles, or pancakes these are the preferred breakfast foods of America.


And you wonder why “America runs on Dunkin” because you are there all damn day ordering coffee and donuts to fuel the rollercoaster your blood sugar is on.


Flip the switch and eat the foods the “experts” deem bad for your heart but instead will actually keep you fueled until lunch!


Eat the eggs, sausage, bacon, butter (real butter not the fake/vegan shit)! These are full of protein and fat that will keep you full and satisfied!


Remember from last week:

Carbs are the kindling. You need to constantly stoke the fire to keep it going by consuming carbs.

While fats are the logs. You can eat some fat and leave to go do something and the fire will continue to burn.


Now I’m not saying eat no carbs!


No, no, no – I want you to include a solid amount of protein and fat with the carb of your choice.


Obviously, I’d prefer you had veggies or fruit for your carb – yogurt parfaits, omelets are fantastic options.


But the key here is to eat enough protein and fat along with the carbs in a balance to not spike your blood sugar leading to that crash and needing to reach for coffee again at 10am or another donut that was left in the office kitchen.


Tips on how to build a breakfast:

  • Identify protein – eggs, sausage, smoked salmon, ham, cottage cheese, any leftover meats from dinner
  • Identify fat – eggs, sausage, bacon, smoked salmon, avocado, butter
  • Identify carb – any veggie or fruit, but also your breads (donuts, bagels, toast, waffles, pancakes)
  • Protein should at a minimum be the size of your palm, I really push clients for at least 2 palms. Consider both the full diameter of the palm and thickness.
  • Fat will most likely be what you use to cook your meal or added in for flavor vs an individual source so I wouldn’t sweat this as much.
  • Carbs may be the challenge for most of you. I’d love to see 1/2 the plate in veggies, that fiber is going to slow the glucose (sugar) absorption down and keep you fuller longer. Realistically, I know some of you aren’t going to do that. So my suggestion is eat the protein and fat first and the carb last whether it is fruit or a pancake. Listen to your body, are you full? Then stop eating, don’t force the full pancake if you don’t need to.


If you are having coffee, highly encourage you to wait to drink it with your meal or shortly after finishing it. I do not recommend consuming coffee on an empty stomach. Ever.


That is the basics of how to build a plate.


If you are a newsletter subscriber, you got two breakfast ideas – one egg and one egg-free – that are macro nutrient balanced.


But you eat really well, have balanced meals, and still feel tired within an hour or eat all the time!


Time to schedule your free connection call to dive deeper to uncover your exact needs.


Why you can’t lose weight on this fad diet

Sooooooooo I’m going to call out a fad diet that’s been bugging me for over a year, possibly 2, for being complete BS without naming it…


From the glamour of IG, it promotes eating all the nutrient dense foods – potatoes, root veggies, butter, dairy, etc. – eating 3 meals a day plus as many snacks as you need, along with adrenal cocktails, juices and more.


To be clear, I’m not a fan of any fad diet.




Because they make it out to seem like their diet is the solution for everyone.


The problem with this is that it is just as bad as allopathic medicine!


While they can be therapeutic and beneficial to sum, it is not ideal for everyone and can be masking true dysfunction that goes longer undetected because you’ve identified a way to coast.


Every individual is unique and I am a strong proponent for eating delicious food that you enjoy while understanding how it effects your energy, mood, and your short and long-term goals.


Why I got beef with this specific fad diet?!


First, this can and may be beneficial to you, if that is the season of life you are in right now.


Sometimes, we need to survive and that is okay.


But it can fuel blood sugar issues, if you don’t already have them.


In fact, I think many with dysregulated blood sugar find this diet and start to feel better because they are working with their issues instead of addressing the problem at hand.


Back to the first bullet, postpartum and minimal help, sleep, demanding baby – you are in survival and this can be very supportive at this time.


Tricky right?!


While this diet may make you feel amazing, you may wonder why you are gaining weight (altho you have been told that is healing).


Before we get into the why I am frustrated with this fad diet being plastered all over social media like it is godsend for women when really for most people they are just masking their blood sugar dysfunction, do any of these sound like you?

  • Increased cravings for sugars and carbs
  • Increased hunger and not satisfied from a meal
  • Weight gain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Tired in the afternoon
  • Ravenous hunger
  • Irritable, anxious, nervous, light-headed if meals are missed
  • Jittery or shaky between meals
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Difficulty concentrating / thinking clearly
  • Can’t sleep at night – difficulty falling asleep or waking up unable to go back to sleep immediately
  • Hormone issues, including thyroid and fertility


Now if you happen to follow the diet I’m referring to, do you experience any of these if you were not to follow them for a day or week?


Did you know….

  • Your brain tightly regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood stream at any given moment?
  • At any given time the ideal amount is about 4g of glucose in an optimal range of 70 to 90 mg/dL?
  • When outside of that range, the brain starts sending signals to the body to triggers the:
    • Release of glucose into the blood stream, if it drops below 70 mg/Dl
    • Storage of glucose into cells, if it raises above 90mg/dL

Dang those numbers seem to be lower than what allopathic medicine deems “normal”.


Unfortunately, “normal” blood labs just equates you being aligned with the majority of the population, not necessarily what is for optimal health….


What you may see are:

  • Higher blood glucose readings 2 hours after eating (ideal is less than 100 mg/dL)
  • Hemoglobin A1c above 5.5
  • Triglycerides above 100


So if you are having issues losing weight and/or going in the opposite direction of where you are trying to get, this can be super fucking frustrating following this particular fad diet.




When our blood sugar rises, insulin is released by the pancreas into the bloodstream to signal the uptake of glucose into the cell.


Where does excess glucose beyond our immediate need go?


First, to be stored in the liver to be used later to maintain your blood glucose levels in between meals.


Next, muscles so that they have fuel, such as during your HIIT workout.


The kicker here is that the liver stores about 400 calories worth of glucose while muscles vary depending on what you got between 1,400 – 2,000 calories (the more muscle, the more you can store).


Here’s the problem >> you are eating all day long – 3 meals plus snacks and all the sugary drinks and coffee.


How long do you really go in between eating or drinking soda/coffee?


Now don’t get me wrong, you’re tired as AF, you get impatient, irritable, start screaming at your kids if you don’t eat every 2 hours. You feel better eating all the fruit and potatoes, along with heavy cream and milk on a daily basis.


That adrenal cocktail really pushes you over for another hour.


Dude I get it!


But as I said earlier, you are just fueling the issue by riding the blood sugar rollercoaster.


Plus, that’s a lot of snack food.


You should be able to go between meals without needing to snack, getting irritated, shaky, or a headache, or feeling like your head is going to hit the desk.


You got stores in the liver and your muscles to keep you going between eating.


But if you don’t take long enough breaks in between to allow your body to tap into those stores found in your liver and muscles, what happens?


Well glucose stores are at capacity within your liver and muscles but blood sugar is going up and we need to get glucose out ASAP to lower into ideal levels the body can manage


So excess glucose gets stored as fat, or adipose tissue.


This is where I have the issue. Yes, some individuals may benefit from gaining some weight.


But if you continue to gain weight, you can’t go longer than 2 hours without eating or drinking something other than water + minerals, you are always hungry, and you search for something sweet after eating (or you need something sweet in every meal), you really need to ask yourself is this fad diet an excuse to being gluttonous or is it really helping me achieve my goals?


Yes, we need protein, fat, and carbohydrates!


This isn’t a push for the carnivore diet.


But what many don’t realize is that every individual is unique and the amount of each macro nutrient – protein, fat, and carbs – is unique to that individual based on their goals, stress levels, activity levels, sleep, and more.


And it is kind of this seesaw analogy, it is either high carb and low fat OR high fat and low carb.


High carb AND fat leads to excess adipose tissue and you aren’t ever going to tap into your fat stores to burn them for energy!


To use the fire analogy, carbs are the kindling. You need to constantly stoke the fire to keep it going by consuming carbs.


While fats are the logs. You can eat some fat and leave to go do something and the fire will continue to burn.


You can’t eat excessive amounts of both all day long!


If you are constantly eating, you never tap into the fat reserves to use them as fuel therefore burning fat off!


May be why IF is making a big run too but not going to touch that one today, maybe another time.


You should be able to be able to eat a delicious meal, have energy to do what you want without getting irritable or impatient before your next meal.


Get real honest with yourself:

  • How often are you eating?
  • How much fat am I eating?
  • How much carbs am I eating?
  • How long can I go feeling great without getting tired or irritated?
  • How well do I sleep?


To start addressing the true underlying issues, you need to start figuring out how to create macro nutrient balanced meals to keep you full and satisfied with balanced energy and mood until your next meal. That’s what I do with clients and teach in REBOOT.


You can schedule your free Connection Call now to get started ASAP.