What I Bought: Trader Joe's on the Whole30

I went to Trader Joe's! :)  And now I'm here to share what I picked up~ all Whole30 friendly (which can get tricky). 

Before heading off to the store, I write a list organized according to the sections of the grocery store.  Nerdy? Maybe... but it makes my trip much more efficient.  I try to think about each meal of the day + snacks, and what I can easily prep into meals to keep ready-to-go in the fridge.

I'm back in full swing of my crazy schedule for my last semester of grad school... finishing off strong with a full time internship during the day, followed by night classes & a 45-minute commute each way.  Surprisingly, completing a Whole30 & staying on track with my eating habits has become very easy- even while constantly on the go.  I've found that by choosing the right items at the grocery store, I can have quick tasty meals that are convenient for grab & go during my hectic week. 

Hope this gives you some ideas & that you find it helpful!  Let me know if you would like recipes for anything :)


  • Organic Free-Range Chicken Thighs~ I bake these with a ton of spices & ghee (clarified butter), then eat on my salads for lunch.
  • Garlic Herb Chicken Sausage~ One of the few sausages at Trader Joe's with no added sugar or bad stuff; therefore Whole30 friendly. Great with breakfast or dipped in spicy brown mustard.
  • Ground Turkey~ I switch off between this & ground beef so I don't get burnt out on either one. I used this in my crockpot chili & also like it for meatballs/meatloaf, veggie-loaded turkey burgers, & meat sauce!

Stovetop Chicken Soup

I have been under the weather the past couple of days. It's no fun :( Unfortunately, I came down with some sort of stomach flu that I just have not been able to shake.

I'm sure many of you can relate to that feeling when you're sick... No strength, no appetite, and definitely no energy to cook. All that really sounded good when I did start to feel slightly hungry? Oatmeal, toast, fruit, and chicken noodle soup. Now, of course I would get the stomach flu when I'm well into my Whole30 challenge & banning all grains from my life. Plain ol' chicken soup would work, but all of the cans out there are full of weird fillers & ingredients that are also non-"Whole30 compliant" & not a part of my Paleo lifestyle.

So, I made a quick in-n-out trip to Trader Joe's, and made the fastest chicken soup of my life (Paleo-style). It also tastes better than any can I have ever tasted, and is the only food I have actually enjoyed over the past three days.

Exciting Announcement!

Hi guys!

I'm stopping by quickly to let you all in on something that I'm VERY excited about..... My very first cookbook feature :) 

I was chosen by the super-sweet folks over at FastPaleo.com to be a part of their Top 100 eCookbook for 2013. That means that out of the thousands of recipes submitted on their website over the past year... they chose one of mine! So humbling, & SO exciting! They have put together a giant cookbook available for download on your computer. The package is $14.97, and gives you access to 1 main cookbook, plus 4 mini books (where you will find my Apple Cinnamon Muffins recipe).

Quick & Easy Bolognese

While shopping at Trader Joe's in preparation for my Whole30, I was really bummed with the selection of marinara sauces. Jarred "pasta sauce" is one of my pantry staples~ for although I don't eat pasta, I always keep sauce hand for making a quick meat sauce or serving over meatballs & veggies. Typically I go for the one with the "cleanest" ingredient list, and don't inspect the nutrition label too closely. 

This time around, however, I was much more harsh- and was disappointed to see that every single sauce on the shelf either had some type of sugar or soybean oil as an added ingredient (I also saw parmesan cheese and weird stuff I couldn't pronounce!)

My Whole30 Challenge!

As of tomorrow, I am beginning my very own Whole30 challenge! :)

For those wondering what I'm talking about... Basically, the Whole30 is a nutritional program meant to "reset" your body to its best function. It takes you back to the basics of Paleo eating, and cuts out all of the unnecessary stuff that sneaks its way into our daily eating habits. Here's the basic guideline...

  • What to eat: 
    • Real, whole, nutrient-dense foods. High-quality meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and nuts/seeds/oils.
  • What to avoid: 
    • Added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, white potatoes, carrageenan/MSG/sulfites, & any type of baked good/dessert/junk food (even if it's been Paleo-fied) 

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

First things first.... It's been WAY too long. & I am so sorry!

My main priority recently has been passing my comprehensive exam
the biggest hurdle left to jump through before graduating with my Master's degree, and one step closer to the career I have been working so hard for over the past 5 and 1/2 years. 

I am extremely grateful & relieved to say that I have now completely PASSED that exam! I still have a semester of full-time classes, plus an internship before I am completely done~ so the hard work isn't over yet. It sure is a good feeling though, knowing that I'm SO close :)

Anyway... after a far-too-long hiatus from my blog, I am back with a treat! (& it's chocolate!!!)