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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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Still Going Strong

Hi Guys! Another weekend gone – sad story. Mine was low key and relaxing for the most part, with the exception of the awful 11 miler I did on Saturday. I talked with my friend Vera and think I realized exactly why I ran out of steam towards the end of the run – I did not fuel well enough while I was running. She asked me how many calories I consumed while running, and I had eaten 1.5 bags of those Sports Beans, which is 150 calories total. Since I ran for almost 2 hours and burned around 1300 calories, 150 calories to replenish is just not enough! It’s “funny” how obvious that sounds when you just lo0k at the facts. I’m planning on fueling during the race with GUs and Beans, and hope to take in at least 300-400 calories so that same thing doesn’t happen on race day.

On that same subject, I’m rethinking my training a bit for the next two weeks leading up to the race. I’m leaning towards skipping the 12 miler I have planned for this coming weekend, and instead doing a shorter 6-8 mile run. I want to keep my legs fresh, and since I’ve been sort of dreading the long runs, I want to keep my head fresh too. I know physically I am capable of running a half marathon and that I’ve already put in the training to run a good race, but I want to make sure that I’m mentally there, too.

Onwards.

We’re halfway into March and I’m still going relatively strong with the Grocery Budget Challenge of keeping spending to $75 max and doing a better job with meal planning.You can see weeks one and two here and here.

Yesterday I went to two different grocery stores – Harris Teeter and Trader Joe’s – and I went over by 35 cents (75.35 between the two stores). If I’m being completely honest, that 35 cents is driving me a little wild because I could have just gotten one less thing and have been under budget, but you’ll see why I impulsively bought extra stuff at TJ’s below. I would have done all my shopping at Harris Teeter, but then I realized I was going to eat dinner extremely close to a TJ’s and I couldn’t resist.

For starters, here’s my plan for the week with food:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner Workout
Monday Wheat berries w yogurt, frozen berries, and a banana Leftover shrimp + brown rice + arugula Cottage cheese w apple and orange Lentil Loaf in Muffin Tin w mashed cauliflower The Shred
Tuesday Oatmeal w pb flour, banana Leftover Lentil Loaf w cauliflower Vanilla Oikos w Fruit Quinoa burger w pita (defrost) 5 miles
Wednesday Wheat berries w yogurt and frozen berries, banana Tempeh Chili (in freezer) Cottage cheese w fruit Potluck – Mexican Casserole 5 miles intervals
Thursday Oatmeal w pb flour, banana Lentil Loaf w cauliflower Vanilla Oikos w fruit Tofu stir-fry w soba noodles and veggies The Shred
Friday Pumpkin Oatmeal, banana Leftover stirfry Cottage Cheese w fruit tbd Rest

Tomorrow night I have Weight Watchers training, so I wanted something quick since I won’t get home until 8:30. I pulled out a frozen quinoa burger since all I’ll have to do is cook it in a pan, which should take around 5 minutes total. I also pulled out tempeh chili from the freezer for lunch on Wednesday so I’m not having leftover Lentil Loaf every single day – I’d get too bored.

First stop, Harris Teeter. Total damage $22.30.

  • 3 Barlett Pears (On sale for 1.59/lb)
  • 3 Lemons (On sale for 3/.99)
  • Sliced Mushrooms
  • So-Yah Red Vindaloo (on sale for 2.59 – impulse buy)
  • 2% Four Cheese Mexican Blend
  • 6 Bananas
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Chunky Mild Salsa
  • 2 Family Sized Cans of Black Beans (Buy one, get one free – so $2.25 for both)
  • 2 Oikos Honey (Had store coupon for $1 off two, so $1.50 each)

A close up of what you’re all probably wondering about…

It caught my eye because I’d never seen these meals before AND it was on sale – double whammy. I don’t love Shirataki noodles, but you can’t beat the nutrition info and I really love vindaloo so I figured it can’t hurt to give it a try.

Since there’s not much protein in there, I’ll probably add some tofu to bulk it up when I eat it, and will let you all know what I think.

Next stop – Trader Joe’s! I can’t even articulate my love of this store. I ended up spending 53.05 there in total and here are the goods:

  • 2 organic pink lady apples
  • 2 organic fuji apples
  • organic onions
  • red bell pepper
  • 2 containers 0% Greek yogurt
  • Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Spring Mix
  • Mini Brie Bites

010

These are mini brie wheels!! 2 pts+ each and portable. Such an exciting find.

  • Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Sesame Bread
  • 3 packets Taco Seasoning (the best one I’ve found by far)
  • French Roast Coffee
  • Whole Wheat English Muffins
  • 2 PACKAGES OF PEANUT FLOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could not resist picking up two packages of this because I’ve heard it’s being discontinued so I almost jumped for joy when I saw it on the shelves.

  • Gone Bananas (frozen banana covered chocolate chunks! 3 pts for 6 pieces)
  • Coffee Latte & Cream Bars (3 pts+ each)
  • Frozen Mango Chunks
  • 2 Packages Frozen Strawberries

Overall, I’m really happy with how much I got and my entire kitchen feels very well stocked, even if I did go .35 over budget this week. I’m also happy to have found four new items to have in my rotation – the shirataki vindaloo, the mini brie bites, and those two desserts in the last photo – coffee latte & cream bars and gone bananas.

Have you found anything new at the grocery store recently? Please share!

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49 Responses

  1. Those new mini brie bites are very magical! I have been making mini quesdillas with them on sprouted grain tortillas and dipping them in tomato soup. Delicious!

    My favorite food find as of late is dehydrated bananas that have nothing added to them and are just freeze dried. I really like the texture and they make for a nice quick snack on the go. 🙂

  2. I did all of my grocery shopping at TJ’s for the first time ever this weekend and I am SO happy with what I came home with! I’ve figured out that as long as I go in with my recipe plan for the week and know what I’m getting, I really don’t spend as much as you would think. I also put the baby brie bites into my basket and back on the shelf at least three times– you’ll have to share what you think of them!

    Have a great week 🙂

  3. Great job at the grocery stores Beth! My TJs has been out of the peanut flour for a while now — good for you for stocking up! 🙂

    And I think you are smart for not running a 12 miler this weekend — you can run this 1/2 no problem, so having fresh legs is a good idea!

  4. Great job on the run! Can I ask which Trader Joe’s you found the Peanut Flour in? All the ones I have been to said they are out for good 😦

    • I found it at the one in Tyson’s Corner on Rt. 7. There were lots of bags and I almost bought them all but I didn’t want to TOTALLY blow my budget. I hope you can find it!

  5. Love, love, love.. TJ’s!

  6. Do you ever drink gatorade on your runs? I find that to really help me keep my calories up

  7. I really wish we had a Harris Teeter here… it seems like us Chicago kids are really missing out with that one.

  8. I love TJ’s for snacks, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, chips, etc. I wish I could shop there for produce but I just don’t like their selection and lack of organic. I need to get there again though, it’s been a couple of months! I want the goat cheese medallions but those brie cups might take priority.

    The most awesome thing I got yesterday at the grocery store was Ben and Jerry’s Late Night Snack, Jimmy Fallon’s new ice cream. Chocolate covered potato chips :O It was a total splurge at $4.19 for a PINT but so worth it.

    • I like some of their produce. I find that getting apples and other fruit there that you buy by the pound at other stores saves you a lot because organic apples are .69 each, not by weight. At the regular store, organic apples are usually at least $2.50 a pound, and an apple is about a pound! I can’t get everything from there, but there are definitely some good deals and some good looking produce.

  9. You seem to love cheese as much as I do. Those mini brie bites sound AMAZING. can’t wait to try them. My TJ’s sells gorgonzola crackers that are to die for. That is my latest find that I am obsessed with. 1 serving is 3 points+. I love them because you get the cheese and the cracker all in one 🙂

  10. Ah! I absolutely LOVE TJs! They always have such great products. Their cheese & Greek Yogurt is always a must for me when I go. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it…I’ve been trying to see how much I spend on groceries too. It’s more challenging than I thought, but I’m finding it fun! 🙂

  11. mini brie bites sound like the best thing since sliced bread. while my mom was in town this weekend i stocked up on vita tops at target. they don’t sell them at any of my regular grocery stores and i am seriously addicted to them.

  12. I am in love with Trader Joe’s and it’s actually starting to be cheaper (on some items) than my regular grocery store!! I went this morning and stuffed 3 bags full and only spent $30, I was pretty impressed!!!

    • Wow that’s awesome!!! My problem is that there are so many things i love that I have a hard time sticking to a list when I’m there! really though, based on everything I got, I could theoretically go without shopping at the store for a few weeks, besides fresh produce.

  13. The coffee latte and cream bars sound delish for 3+. I may add that to my TJ’s shopping list for this Friday.

    And are my calculations correct that the vindaloo meal is 3+ for the container? That’s is great! Hope it takes just the same.

    • That’s right – 3 pts+ for the whole container. I’m thinking if I add 3 pts+ worth of tofu (which will be 12.5 grams of protein) it’ll be a good meal for on the go! I’ll let you know what I think of it.

  14. I agree Trader Joe’s is amazing!! It doesn’t always have the best produce but everything else is so good it makes up for that!

    • There are certain types of produce I like getting there, and you can’t beat their frozen fruits and veggies! But it’s perfect if you supplement TJs with a store that has great produce!

  15. I usually spend around the same amount every week for groceries. It’s much easier to stick to a budget when planning out the week. I’ve gotten so good at navigating the grocery store in like 40 minutes. Done and done! lol

  16. I think mentally feeling ready is a huge aspect so you have to do what works for you. 🙂 And yea – things seem so obvious when put in perspective like that, but I know I probably will make the same sorts of mistakes as I get more involved with running.

    • I agree with the mental aspect majorly – long runs where I’ve approached it feeling confident and ready to run, they always go SO much better. And that’s why we train – to test out all the quirks about running, fueling, equipment, etc. I’m excited to see you evolve as a runner and am so excited you’re loving the c25k! That’s what I did to start, too.

  17. Beth,

    You are so funny! $0.35 is nothing! Haha, I know it’s the principle of the thing, but seriously…35 cents??

    Oh, and about the run, I OFTEN find that the mental stuff bugs me more than the physical. For instance, I’ve quit the shred midway through twice now because I “mentally” didn’t feel motivated to continue. I think you’ve got the right tactic though–cut back on the super long runs for a while (esp. if you’re dreading them) and make sure to fuel properly before the runs. 11 miles is a crazy long distance, so you should be proud (no, wait, ECSTATIC that you finished the run in one piece!!)

  18. JUST ate the mini brie bite I brought in my lunch. These are an AHMAZING find. I could hardly contain myself when I found them a couple weeks ago!

    • I know I almost freaked out in the store when I saw them too, but there were other people around so I tried to contain myself.

  19. So, protein plus peanut flour is the stuff that was repackaged as TJ’s peanut flour. You can order it online in boxes of six 2-pound packages.

    Call me “the enabler.”

    • haha thank you Enabler”!!! That is very good to know. I do have 3 unopened containers in my pantry and a fourth I’m working out of, but I will check that out as I come towards the end of my stash for sure!

  20. Hi Beth, oh wow, this post makes me want to dash to the border right now and get to Trader Joes! (I’m in Canada, and there is a TJ’s about an hour away from here…) Love looking at your shopping finds! Thanks for sharing.

  21. Sorry to hear about your crappy run, not fueling properly can TOTALLY have that effect though!! I have had problems where I didn’t fuel or hydrate properly on long runs in the past and then I got horrible leg cramps :S

  22. Nice work with the budget! I would love to love those shirataki noodle but *shudder* I just can’t. I saw the brie bites and snatched them up too! I also picked up some mango puree.

    • I saw that mango puree and put it in my cart and then back a few times before picking the chunks instead because I love to eat those just plain. Do you use it in smoothies?

  23. I am totally digging the coffee ice cream bars – they look amazingggg! Are the vegan too?!

  24. Great run Beth! I have many workouts that end that way can’t end quick enough. However, I am always happy I did it.

    I don’t eat anything post run, I have to eat before my run which is usually a Cliff bar because of my Diabetes.

  25. Hey Beth–Just wanted to thank you for posting your weekly menu plan. I really enjoyed looking at it and getting ideas for my own menu this week! Also enjoyed reading about the grocery budget update 🙂 My husband and I have the exact same weekly grocery budget ($75), so it’s fun to see what someone else buys with the same amount!

    Hope it’s a great week for you 🙂

  26. Definitely go shorter this weekend. Its taper time!

  27. Love love love your blog…it’s awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing everything. It is so inspiring!

    I was wondering if you had the recipe for the Tempeh Chili that you would be willing to share? I just bought Tempeh to try it out. Chili sounds good!

    • Hi Christina! Thanks so much for commenting and so glad you found my blog! I’ll email you the recipe but I plan on doing a post on it soon!

  28. Augh, I want those grocery finds so badly! I am reassessing how I am eating and fueling my body throughout the day. Getting rid of some more processed junk and really trying to get more natural items and more variety! I get stuck on the same things over and over….a creature of habit!!! I have to let go of the OCD and just eat when I need to instead of waiting for a certain time, and fuel my body when it asks for it! I gave up the weight watchers because I felt like I couldn’t get the items that would be natural and keep me in my limits, but now I am re-thinking it…augh, I hate when it gets toooooo complicated and over-analyzed 😉

  29. so love these new corn crackers at trader joes! so grainy and good 🙂

  30. LOVE Trader Joe’s! What a great haul of groceries for your budget! I’m inspired 🙂

  31. Love your plan for the week, lists like those make it so much easier to stay on track and keep yourself accountable! Go you!! And reading about your training and the way you are switching things up is so helpful, girl! My first half is coming up in June and I’m nervous like crazy beans, but reading your progress is making me excited and ready to take on the training aspect!

  32. Mini brie bites? Yes please!

  33. […] Luckily I got out of work around 2 yesterday, so I still had some of the day left. I ended up grocery shopping at Whole Foods on the way home since I drove right by it, and had brought printed coupons with me so I was ready to bargain shop. Just as a refresher – my goal is to spend under $75 weekly, do better at meal planning, and show you guys what I buy/meal ideas once a week for the month on March. You can see the first three weeks here, here, and here. […]

  34. […] Luckily I got out of work around 2 yesterday, so I still had some of the day left. I ended up grocery shopping at Whole Foods on the way home since I drove right by it, and had brought printed coupons with me so I was ready to bargain shop. Just as a refresher – my goal is to spend under $75 weekly, do better at meal planning, and show you guys what I buy/meal ideas once a week for the month on March. You can see the first three weeks here, here, and here. […]

  35. […] Week 3 – Harris Teeter + Trader Joe’s – $75.35 […]

  36. […] Week 3 – Harris Teeter + Trader Joe’s – $75.35 […]

  37. […] 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 […]

  38. […] 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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