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    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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Double Digits and Trader Joe’s Loot

Hi guys! Hope you had a wonderful weekend, though I’m definitely slightly depressed it’s already over. I woke up on Saturday feeling kind of sick with a sore throat and runny nose, so I took a lot of Dayquil, relaxed, and drank tons of fluids. Luckily, I woke up Sunday feeling quite a bit better, but still not 100%. This morning I was actually supposed to go up to Philly for the day to see my nephew and sister, but I can’t go since I’m still feeling a little sick and can’t risk giving it to either of them!

I had a 10 miler on my training schedule for this weekend and really didn’t want to miss it, so I made myself do it yesterday even though I still felt a little off. The weather was absolutely beautiful and perfect for running, but the run was SO tough mentally. Normally before a long run, I really try to sike myself up for it and look at it as an exciting opportunity rather than an obligation (fake it til you make it, right?). Yesterday though, I had to literally force myself to go even though I didn’t really want to, and it made the run tough. One thing that’s great about a run, no matter how long or short, is that I always come back feeling so happy I went, even if it was tough getting out there and during the run itself.

Something that didn’t help was that I completely overdressed for the run. I had on a thin long sleeve running jacket, and about 2 miles in I was so hot that I was sweating like crazy and still had 8 miles to go! I was running pretty much directly in the sun, so I tried to roll the sleeves up to elbow level. That worked, except it kind of cut circulation off to my hands since it was to tight around my elbow, so I had to keep putting my hands by my sides to get the blood flowing again. So annoying! But, I made it.

My first double digit run since my half marathon in September – so over 5 months! I finished the 10.0 miles (exactly) in 1 hour, 38 minutes, 52 seconds, or a 9:53 pace. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Mile 1 – 9:35
  • Mile 2 – 9:47
  • Mile 3 – 9:45
  • Mile 4 – 9:37
  • Mile 5 – 10:06 (very uphill)
  • Mile 6 – 9:42 (very downhill)
  • Mile 7 – 10:18 (was fading)
  • Mile 8 – 10:07 (shot blocks starting to kick in)
  • Mile 9 – 10:03
  • Mile 10: – 9:55

As a reward to myself, I went to Trader Joe’s. Sad, no? Smile I love Trader Joe’s, but it’s not the closest grocery store to me, so I don’t make it my regular grocery store. It’s always a treat when I make the trip out there.

I had been trying to do a $50 weekly budget for eating, but that proved really hard, so I’ve upped it to $75 a week. This includes breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for me, and sometimes dinners for Wil. Most of the time I don’t spend the whole $75, but sometimes I go a little over, especially if I make a few trips to separate stores. Yesterday, I spent $68.97, and I was out of a lot of staples that I needed to replenish so I think I did quite well. I haven’t showed you guys what is in my shopping cart for a while so I thought it’d be fun to do. Let’s take a look!

  • Mache
  • Bell Peppers
  • Green Onions
  • 4 Fuji Apples
  • Baby portabella mushrooms
  • 4 lb bag of oranges
  • 7 bananas
  • Goat Cheese Medallions (2 pts+ each)
  • Light Shredded Mozzarella (1 pt+ per 1/4 cup)

  • Mini Whole Wheat Pitas
  • 100 Calorie Dark Chocolate Bars (3 pts+ each)
  • 2 tubs nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 blocks Organic Tempeh
  • 2 containers organic tofu
  • Liquid Egg Whites
  • Cooked Brown Rice
  • Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Sesame ($3.99 at TJ’s, which is a lot cheaper than other places. 2 pts+ a slice)

  • Frozen blueberries
  • Frozen Strawberries
  • Frozen Mango Chunks
  • Frozen Pineapple Tidbits
  • Organic Fire Roasted Tomatos
  • Sweet Kernel Corn
  • Chunky Salsa
  • 2 cans Organic Kidney Beans
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Frozen Organic Sweet Corn
  • Vanilla Meringues (3 pts+ for 4)

I think I did quite well considering how much stuff I got and that most of it was organic! Menu ideas for dinner this week include:

  • Tempeh Chili
  • Mexican Corn Tortilla Casserole
  • Soba Noodles with Tofu and Veggies in Peanut Sauce
  • Quinoa Burgers on Whole Wheat Pita

Tell me what your absolute favorite grocery store is! I love Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but I also adore Wegmans (even though I’ve only been there once!) and occasional trips to Asian grocery stores (like H-Mart). I just love grocery shopping, so I can’t pick one.

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43 Responses

  1. I really like our local higher end store, Dierberg’s, and always WF and TJ’s. I tend to like WF more than TJ’s because I’m not a fan of TJ’s produce and meat, and sometimes it’s nice to get everything at one store.

    I really was a huge fan of Meijer when I lived in Michigan. Their store brand organic was incredibly affordable.

  2. My favorite grocery shop is Pick n Pay (or Woolworths). I like to go to the Farmers market once a month which provide organic products on a much lower price than in the stores.
    Liquid Egg whites is not something we get here in SA.

  3. Great job on the run!! You are getting SO fast. I can’t wait to run a double digit run with sub 10 minute miles 🙂 I ❤ trader joe's. It's reasonably priced and has so many healthy options as well as fun options!

  4. Great job on your 10 mile run Beth!

    My favorite grocery store is actually our regular old chain place around here — they have almost everything I need. If Trader Joes was a little closer, it would be my favorite since it is cheap and has great food — but to me their produce dept is lacking.

  5. Trader Joe’s OWNS me. I would shop there exclusively if their produce department was bigger and fresher, but unfortunately the Hannafords up the street from has them beat by a long shot in that area.

    • I found some good stuff in their produce department this week, but you really do have to sort through it. Whole Foods sale produce + TJ’s everything else = perfection.

  6. How much do you spend on grocery shopping a week (or a month?) Carlos and I go back and forth because I (we) spend about $50-$60 a week and he cringes because he would rather it be around $40.

    CONGRATS on the 10 mile run, you totally rocked it out, Beth!

    • I try to spend no more than $75 a week, and usually its less than that – somewhere around $60. That is mostly just for me, and it includes breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. I cook almost every meal at home and don’t buy breakfast or lunch out except on rare occasion. Not sure what prices are like in MN compared to DC, but I really struggled with $50/week!

      Thanks for the kudos on the run! I’m so glad I did it! 🙂

  7. Great run, Beth!
    And what an impressive grocery shopping trip. I am terrible at grocery shopping on a budget!

  8. Trader Joe’s is by far my favorite. Although I do believe I will be experimenting with all that is the Whole Foods bulk bin section soon…

    Great job on the run! It sometimes is really hard to get out there, but way to go for pressing on! I’ve got a 9-miler scheduled for Friday AFTER work (not enough time to do it before I have to be at the airport on Saturday)… cross your fingers for me!

  9. nice job on the long run!

    I always reward myself with something after long runs. Usually a trip to Sweet Green but I like the idea of a trader joes run. TJs and Whole Foods are definitely my favorite places to shop in DC.

    • Fro yo is awesome post run! Another favorite of mine is to make a smoothie before the run, and then throw it in the freezer. It’s something to look forward to when I get back from the run, and freezing it makes it thicker and more like a milkshake/fro yo. It’s SO good!

  10. Congrats on your long run! It was a gorgeous day to be outside!

    And TJ’s is my favorite grocery store. I go there every week as my main shop. It is so hard to get out of there for less than $50, but you get a LOT for the money!!

    • I totally agree – so much bang for your buck there. They have really good body products, too! I got shampoo and condition from there last time for 2.29 each and its all natural citrus flavored – love it!

  11. We don’t have any super great natural stores around here, so I do a combination of the local grocer, Meijer, and Target.

    • I’ve never heard of Meijer before, but I have definitely picked some things up at Target! They have greek yogurt and really good frozen fruit at the one by me.

  12. I start my shopping at Trader Joe’s. Then Heinen’s. Then Whole Foods. Then Giant Eagle. Mostly everything can be found between TJ’s and Heinen’s. I LOVE shopping!

    • i love grocery shopping, too but actually hate other forms of shopping! Weird, right?

      • Really?? I could spend all day shopping for clothes, food, etc. (just don’t have the money) 😮

        I just started following you on Twitter. Follow me too please if you’d like to (@karmascorner).

  13. I’m from Western New York, home of Wegmans. For me there’s nothing that compares. (and that’s coming from a former employee!)

  14. Great job on your run! I did 10 miles yesterday too, and wore arm sleeves which I took off 1 mile in, so I can imagine how warm you were.
    My favorite is Wegmans, but I’ve never made the drive out to the VA one.

  15. Great job on the run!

    I love Trader Joe’s. I’m lucky there are a few nearby. I like their Greek Yogurt and their salad dressings. There are a lot of other foods unique to TJ and I also love their frozen Indian food. Perfect for satisfying that craving!

  16. Great job on the run!!!

    I love Trader Joe’s, it’s about a 40 minute drive though, so I don’t go often, but I when I do, I take full advantage of the goodness that’s offered there 🙂

  17. I like TJ but it seems lately that they never have what I’m looking for, 😦 So, my regular shopping is at Kroger’s or Giant Eagle. Their produce is great and more organics are showing up!

  18. I’m in Florida and around here Publix is the best. We have Whole Foods and I like to go there for a treat because they are just too expensive to go on a regular basis.

    Publix has a greenwise (organic) selection that has been around for a few years now and is pretty good.

    Congrats on the run!

  19. Wow…all of that for under $75?! Great job! My favorite grocery store is Trader Joe’s, but I also shop at the local chain stores depending on where I am, Costco (does it count as a grocery store?!), and the farmer’s market types.

  20. Great job on the run, AND the shopping! I just found my way over here from Lisa’s blog (110 lbs and counting) and you are an great writer! I really enjoyed reading your posts. I am also 26 and struggling to losse those last 25 ish pounds, but my times are nowhere near as fast as yours. Keep up the great work!

  21. Awesome run! 🙂

    My only local options are Kroger, Food Lion, and Wal-Mart. I choose Kroger…they are getting a lot of new items that I use to have to travel for plus they’ve really made an effort on their Gluten Free aisle.

    When I travel I love TJ’s and Whole Foods! 🙂

  22. I miss Trader Joes and Whole Foods. I used to shop a lot at Kroger for my main groceries. Since I moved to NZ I’ve mainly just shopped at Countdown (big grocery store) and Chinese fruit/vege shops.

    I miss American prices the most. We spend $150 a week for two people – similar to what you spend but that’s just for basics and definitely nothing organic. =\

  23. This is so funny–my last entry yesterday was about a long run that I didn’t want to do (which, by the way, I was TOTALLY overdressed for!) and shopping at TJs! haha. I love WF the most, but it’s just prohibitively expensive sometimes. TJs is great, I love it, especially their salads (I bought five for this week, one for each day) and quick-prepare stuff. Their produce isn’t as awesome though.

  24. […] Double Digits and Trader Joe’s Loot […]

  25. Haha, I love love love to grocery shop as well! Trader Joe’s is probably my favorite!

  26. […] keeping spending to $75 max and doing a better job with meal planning.You can see weeks one and two here and […]

  27. […] keeping spending to $75 max and doing a better job with meal planning.You can see weeks one and two here and […]

  28. […] guys what I buy/meal ideas once a week for the month on March. You can see the first three weeks here, here, and […]

  29. […] guys what I buy/meal ideas once a week for the month on March. You can see the first three weeks here, here, and […]

  30. […] Week 1 – Trader Joe’s – $68.97 […]

  31. […] Week 1 – Trader Joe’s – $68.97 […]

  32. […] and post the shopping trip goods on here to show how to eat well on a budget! Yup! You can see Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week […]

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