Grocery shopping brings me so much joy…my boyfriend doesn’t get it, but I think you gals understand. Instead of wandering around for hours in a mall, I prefer roaming through different grocery and health food stores. There are so many cool new snacks and foods to try and so many different flavor combinations to experiment with. And let’s forget about the wellness aisles with the newest remedies! With that being said, I often don’t have time to explore. In fact, I’m usually so busy, that I barely have time to really think about the items that I’m buying. Ultimately, I end up purchasing the same things over and over again, out of convenience and not wanting to use mental energy figuring out new things to make. While this is not a crime, it does get a little boring; and after a meal, I’m often left unsatisfied and uninspired.
This summer, I made an effort to expand the horizons of my grocery shopping a bit and buy some new and different foods for myself to try. Without further ado, Ladies, I present to you, a list of my current favorite health food meals and snacks!
Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi
Hear ye, hear ye! Stop what you’re doing; yes I’m telling you to stop reading this and go to your nearest TJ’s to stock up on their Cauliflower Gnocchi. I’m not sure when this heavenly food made it’s first appearance in the frozen foods section of TJ’s; but it’s new to me, and if you haven’t already gotten the vibe…I AM COMPLETELY HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE! It only contains 5 ingredients which is really rare for any frozen meal, and it doesn’t contain anything I can’t pronounce like weird preservatives and random added sugars. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to cook; and when paired with a protein and veggie, it makes the perfect lunch or dinner that tastes out of this world! The little pasta pillows are so satisfying to eat, and they are also gluten free and vegan! First, I sauté them until they are golden on all sides in some EVOO. Then, I’ll add some sliced cherry tomatoes and zucchini into the pan, top it with a turkey burger or organic chicken and some parmesan cheese, and that’s my meal! So, good! I cooked it for my grandparents one night using marinara sauce, organic ground turkey and topped it with fresh ricotta cheese. My Italian grandparents gave their stamp and “Yums” of approval! Pro tip: Don’t follow the package instructions. Defrost them for a little bit and then put them straight into a hot pan with some olive oil. I’ve found this way gives the gnocchi the best consistency!
Ants on a Log
I used to hate celery so much when I was a kid. I just thought it was absolutely disgusting and would refuse to put it anywhere near my mouth. While, it’s still not my favorite veggie, and I wouldn’t eat it plain, I actually dig it slathered in PB and sprinkled with raisins! Ants on a log has turned into a pre/post workout staple snack for me. This snack gives me lots of energy, keeps me full and satisfied, and hosts tons of nutritional benefits! Some of the top benefits of celery include:
Lowering inflammation in the bodyBoosting digestion and reducing bloatingAntimicrobial properties that fight infectionsPreventing ulcersLowering High CholesterolPreventing or Treating High Blood PressureAiding in weight lossProtection from UTI’sProtection from cancerProtects liver health
Pro tip: Celery is one of the veggies that you want to buy organic! Celery has been on the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” produce list for years. Although it’s not as high on the list as it used to be, I buy my celery, as well as the other produce featured on this list, from the organic section. Also, make sure that the peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of choice) and raisins you purchase don’t have any sneaky added oils or sugars.
GoMacro Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably noticed my obsession with GoMacro bars via the countless stories and posts declaring my love for them. Well folks, they just dropped a new flavor, and it tastes exactly like it’s name. The new oatmeal chocolate chip bar tastes just like an oatmeal cookie with gooey chunks of chocolate. They are so dang delicious and sweetened only with some coconut sugar! You know how some health bars and treats taste like chalk? The geniuses behind GoMacro have perfected the art of making delicious bars that do great things for your body as well as your taste buds. GoMacro bars are a staple in my pantry, purse, backpack, travel carry-on, and gym bag. This post is not sponsored, and the company did not ask me or pay me to promote them. I just really love these bars because of the way they taste and fuel my body, as well as the story and heart behind this company.
Pro Tip: Buy them at Trader Joe’s! They have the best price that I’ve found there. You can grab them before you get your gnocchi!(;
I’m embracing this watermelon season so hard. On a hot NYC day, where you can barely breathe and are sweating bullets 24/7, watermelon is the light in the darkness. It’s sweet, it’s hydrating, and it’s so refreshing. That’s pretty much all I have to say about this one; I just love watermelon!
Sunnyside Eggs over Sourdough Toast
I was a brekkie smoothie girl for a really long time. But the past few months, I’ve been cheating on her with a new morning meal. Eggs cooked in ghee over sliced sourdough bread, 1/2 an avocado, and sautéed baby kale topped with Frank’s Red Hot has been IT. I’ve been experimenting with brekkie for a very long time. What gives me the most energy? What keeps me the fullest the longest? What sets me up the best for healthy eating during the rest of the day? Does a certain brekkie help curb midday energy crashes and sugar cravings? Should I be eating a certain ratio of carbs to protein to fat for optimal morning nutrition? These are some of the questions that I’ve been trying to answer through experimenting with my breakfasts. The combo that I’m doing now checks all of the boxes for me!
Our diets should evolve with us as we grow as people through the different stages of our lives, and one of my main points that I always try to encourage others with is that health is unique to every individual. Don’t ever feel the need to squeeze yourself into a mold of food rules and restrictions. Get excited about trying new things, and do the best you can with what you have available to you. Now go forth, taste test, and eat healthy foods that you LOVE!