Trader Joe’s, I love you.

I think one of the greatest things that happened to me was that there was a Trader Joes when I moved to Albuquerque (yes I’m being dramatic) but it is one of my favorite places to grocery shop. Not only is Trader Joe’s college budget friendly, it has a ton of delicious healthy options. What I like about Trader Joe’s is that they carry Trader Joe’s brands of quality food where I cannot find anywhere else. Okay enough of my Trader Joe’s rant; my point here is to show you a few of my favorite snacks from Trader Joe’s. I know that as a college student with classes, jobs, or sports we barely have time (or money) to put a snack together. I have found a few things at Trader Joe’s that have saved me between practices and classes.

I’ll keep it short and simple, I think snacking is one of the most important meals of the day. I cannot pay attention in class on an empty stomach. It is pure torture! If I go without eating between classes, I will go home and binge eat everything I can possibly find in my fridge. This also creates roommate problems because yes, I also eat their food. Have snacks ready and available to grab when you are in a rush or need to eat something fast! It will save you the stomach growls and then stomach pains of over eating.

My Trader Joe’s Munchies

Lara Bars: Lara bars consist of fruits, nuts, and spices. They are gluten and sugar free. I enjoy them because of the texture and flavor each bite brings. I have to eat it slow because there is so much flavor in every bite. One bar can get me through a full morning workout!

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Organic Popcorn with Olive Oil: This is one of my favorite snacks after lunch or dinner. It is low calorie and is the perfect snack to hold you over until your next meal. I like to separate the popcorn into little bags with about two cups in each bag. I do this so I do not eat the whole bag in one sitting (which I have done) and also so I have it ready to go when I am on the go.

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Just Mango Slices: Sometimes we just need a little something sweet. These dried mangos from Trader Joe’s are delicious. They are all natural, with no added sugars. It is soft, chewy, and sweet, making it perfect for that sweet tooth craving.

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Gone Bananas: Then there are those times you need to TREAT YO SELF. These are dark chocolate cover banana slices ready to be eaten. Need I say more?

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Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats: I love oatmeal; it is one of my favorite breakfast choices. As a kid my mom would add brown sugar, syrup, and butter to it. Although yes, it sounds delicious, all that sugar would slow me down rather than give me the energy I needed for the morning. I started to add new combinations to make my oatmeal taste great with out all the sugar and fat. One of my favorite ways of eating oatmeal is from the Organic Mixed Berries, Sliced Honey Roasted Almonds, and 1 Tbsp. of Sunflower Seed Butter from Trader Joe’s.

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Katie’s Mixed Berry Oatmeal

Ingredients

1 cup Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats

½ cup water

¼ cup Organic Mixed Berries

Handful of Sliced Honey Roasted Almonds

1 Tbsp. Sunflower Seed Butter

Directions

Add oatmeal into a bowls, and then add water. Microwave for 1 minute. The oatmeal should not be all the way cooked. Then add the frozen mixed berries and stir them in with the oatmeal. Put in the microwave for another minute. Stir the berries and oatmeal. Add almonds and sunflower seed butter. (Optional: add almond milk and cinnamon)

Never heard of Sunflower Seed Butter? Well neither had I until I stared a Paleo diet where they suggested it. I bought it at Trader Joe’s and was addicted. Not only is it tasty, but also has so many more nutritional benefits than peanut butter. I found a link below where you can find more information.

http://www.thedirtandthedish.com/a-better-butter/

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