Tag Archives: Trader Joes

Third Trimester Survival Snacks + Supplies

Keeping up with the extra calories needed to gain a healthy weight during my third trimester has been a struggle.  Since I am still on my regular schedule of daily activities (including exercise), I have found that I have to eat a significant amount of calories in one day to put on pounds.  If I don’t plan accordingly, I oftentimes find myself eating out of my daughter’s diaper bag stash (or finishing her plate for her).  It is hard to keep up my little one.  She is busy.

IMG_4685That said, I thought it might help others in the same predicament for me to put together a list of typical items that I stash in my car and/or her diaper bag.   Most of these are items that my daughter and I can share, so there is no packing two separate snacks.  These are also good snacks for anyone on the go.


  • Clif Kid Z Bar – If you are a regular reader of my blog, you already know that I fully support Luna Bar (a member of the Cilf Bar family).  Clif Kid Z Bars are yet another branch of the company.  They are about 2/3 the size of a regular Cilf Bar.  They are low in fat and calories, high in fiber, low in sodium, organic and contain specific vitamins and nutrients, including:  Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Thiamin, Folate, and many more.  I can even buy them in bulk at Costco.  Great flavors.  Enough said.
  • Lightly Salted Blue Diamond Almonds – The health benefits of eating almonds are incredible.  I have been craving a little salt this pregnancy, so the lightly salted variety hits the spot for me.  Clearly this is not a snack for my daughter at her age, but I can easily throw this bag in my car.
  • Dried White Peaches (Trader Joe’s) – You have to get them from Trader Joe’s (or I have to).  I don’t get a chance to go to our local Trader Joe’s often, so I usually pick up a few bags.  I can crush 3 or 4 pieces a day.  These are filling since they contain a decent amount of fiber.  They also taste good!
  • Barbara’s Puffins (any flavor) – I tend to stick with the peanut butter flavor, but we often get the original and cinnamon flavor.  This is an easy snack to throw in a cup for my daughter. So why Puffins?  This is a sweet cereal that is low fat, high in fiber, and low in sugar.  A far better alternative to the sugary cereals on the market.  I find myself stealing these from her if she doesn’t finish them.  Warning – they can be pricey.  Check Trader Joe’s for the lowest price.
  • Clementines – ‘Tis the season!  Good clementines are limited to specific times of the year.  Thank goodness they are all over the supermarket during my third trimester.  We are constantly fighting off disease in this family.  We can’t get enough Vitamin C.
  • Raspberries – Do I have to reiterate a lot of my points in the previous items?  Low in fat, high in vitamins and nutrients and high in fiber.  I could eat an entire small package.  So good.  Again, for the best deal, buy in bulk at Costco.

IMG_4682Aside from stocking up on snacks, new mom Carrie Kaschack, handed me a brown bag full of supplies to take to the hospital.  Moms remember these?  I actually saved the leftovers from my first pregnancy (hoping that I would have a second).  I should have pawned them off like Carrie did!  If you are pregnant with your first OR you hope to be one day, welcome to a part of pregnancy no one told me about.  Men, stop reading.  Ladies, you thought you were done with pads for good , right?  HA!  The hospital will provide hospital grade pads for the first few days, but you are on your own when it comes to the next few days/weeks at home.


More Father’s Day Fun + A Quick, Healthy Pepperoni Roll Appetizer

This weekend we had a lot to celebrate.  My father-in-law, my dad, my husband and my brother-in-law all came over to our house to celebrate Father’s Day.  It was also my mom’s birthday weekend.  We don’t get to see my husband’s parents often, so it is a special time for my daughter and my niece to have them in town for a few days.

IMG_1214Since there were ten of us, we decided that the easiest way for all of us to casually eat was for us to host a Father’s Day cookout.  The weather couldn’t have been better.  We spent a majority of the afternoon on the patio enjoying good food and drinks.


My favorite go-to quick, healthy, finger food appetizer is a pepperoni roll made with low fat crescent rolls.  How is easy is this?  Just a few ingredients:

  • Low fat crescent rolls (in the refrigerated section)
  • Low fat mozzarella cheese
  • Turkey pepperoni
  • Dash of oregano, red pepper flakes, basil
  • 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil

Set oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough onto a baking pan to form a skinny line (approximately 3 inches wide and 12-16 inches long).  In the center of the line, place a line of pepperoni and top with cheese.  Fold edges over to seal the pepperoni and cheese.  Spread olive oil on top of pressed edges.  Sprinkle oregano, basil and red pepper flakes on top.  Cook in oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve as is or with marinara sauce.  So easy and good!

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My daughter is finally starting to eat finger food, so we gave her a little taste of the soft dough to “gum on” (since she doesn’t have many teeth).  I think that she approved!

IMG_1261Since I was the one behind all of the photos for the day, I didn’t end up getting a picture with my dad, hence why the picture below is of my dad and I right before we walked down the aisle at my wedding.  I don’t want to seem cliche sharing a bunch of pictures of my dad on this special day, but I do want to tell my dad that I love him and appreciate him more now that I am a parent myself (because I know he reads this).

481020_10101234980920193_575689915_nEven though we all got together for a cookout on Saturday, we also gathered on Sunday for breakfast (that’s right, all of us).  Flying biscuit here we come!  The most kid friendly, quick and delicious place to go for breakfast in Myers park.  My daughter actually behaved and had some quality snuggle time with her dad.  I hope that they are close as my dad and I are when she is older (actually, I have no doubt they will be).

photo 2-70I asked my husband what he wanted to do on Father’s Day, and he said that he wanted to go for a bike ride (while his parents watched our daughter).  What a great day to do this!  We utilized the greenway and also made a small grocery shopping trip out of it.  We haven’t ridden bikes much since we had our daughter, so I have not been able to share what a great casual hybrid bike that I found on sale last year in the offseason.

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I found this Specialized (that’s the brand) bike at Bike Source in Park Road Shopping Center.  While I was there, I bought this nifty basket to put on the back.  Get this.  It is removable and acts as a grocery basket when I go into the store.

photo 4-40Part of living a fit life is finding ways to be active outdoors.  If you have the time, getting out on a bike to do errands is a perfect way to enjoy the weather and get a little exercise in.

Date Night (Healthy) Sushi

My husband and I love going out to dinner with our daughter on the weekends, but we typically frequent the stereotypical “kid-friendly” restaurants (Mellow Mushroom, Flying Biscuit, Pacos Tacos, the list goes on…). My parents were in town this weekend, so we took advantage of a free babysitter and decided to spend our “date night” out at a restaurant that we probably wouldn’t normally take our daughter to – sushi. (She is super cute in that high chair, but we need some time to ourselves every once in awhile!)

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In 2009, when the Metropolitan had just started to become popular, I purchased one of the last loft units in the building. Pisces restaurant opened shortly after. At first, I wasn’t sure that any restaurant would make it at this location (the Charlotte restaurant industry seems cut throat). Pisces proved me wrong. After getting married, we decided to do a renovation on our home, and moved back to Metropolitan for several months. Pisces was one of our staples. Owner, Bryan Li, is so engaged with the customers (he has been working every night that we have gone).

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Enough said, on to the food! They just revamped their menu and there are so many healthy choices.

Appetizers – Edamame and steamed vegetable gyoza (Our waitress recommended this. Delicious!)

Sushi – See picture above. We got FIVE rolls. So many people will tell you that to make this healthy you can add brown rice, take rice out, etc. You can do that, but that completely changes the roll at that point. We opted to keep most rolls as is, and we could still get very healthy options.

– First Love – Crab, Mango Roll topped with Shrimp & Avocado

-Metro – Crab, Avocado Roll topped with Spicy Tuna and Crunchy Flakes

-Leo – Tuna, Mango Roll topped with Avocado and chili oil

-Panthers – Spicy Tuna Roll topped with Tuna and Avocado

-Bobcats – Crab Tempura, Avocado Roll topped with Crab Salad and Tobiko, with Eel & Aori Sauce (OK this was one was a splurge, but we removed the Tobiko and Aori Sauce)

Clearly we like avocado! As I mentioned in my post yesterday, we gave up sweets for lent, so no dessert for us. That didn’t stop us from taking advantage of the Trader Joe’s there. We picked up something to add to my work snack drawer.

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