Trader Joe’s Favs:
Literally 110 calories and hardly any fat in 2 ½ cups! So good, and lots of fiber, too
Can I hear 12 grams of protein, no fat, and only 120 calories per cup? Yeah!
This is the incredibly smooth, lower sugar, and did I mention smooth, yogurt that is identical to the mysteriously different but wonderful Ireland had as it’s insanely inexpensive ‘generic brand’ of plain yogurt. Amazing. Add those frozen blueberries, banana, granola, cinnamon, and peanut butter…. And mmmm
In small quantities! Recently reading articles about the amazing benefits of cranberries—who knew they were such powerhouses?! Whole Foods has a particularly good overview of them on their website. Be careful, as sunflower oil and sugar have been added, but just A FEW of these atop almost anything are delish.
$0.19 each no matter what the size. Nothing more to say.
$1.99 for a good-size bag. Add to nearly every meal, be it a sandwich, salad, eggs, or a smoothie (yes, mix it in- you won’t taste the spinach, but you’ll get lots and lots of nutrients)
Big bag of broccoli is just $1.49 (beat that New Jersey!) and big bag of sliced multi-colored peppers for $1.69, I believe, and they have some neat not-your-everyday-in-a-bag veggies, too: Leeks ($1.99!), Asparagus, Pearl Onions, and more
Not in the past ten years has a delicious, large carton of freshly (aka you do it yourself in the store) ground coffee been consistently $4.99. Much larger than the small bags from Shop Rite (Mom, you should buy this one), and grinding it at purchase just makes it that much better— that smell is so wonderful. (Add a little cinnamon to the grinds when brewing to add in some extra nutrients and taste!)
Again, price is hard to beat for a large, dark glass jug of it. Extra Virgin, of course.
Big bag of oranges is $2.99. That means 9 smallish oranges for $3. $0.33 each. I have yet to find that beat.
Have you heard of Ezekiel bread? Well, that’s the kind I have been getting since college when an NYC friend hooked me onto it. I get the Trader Joe’s version, which is $3.49. At the rate I eat it, that is a good price. It is fantastic bread, though takes some adjusting to-It’s made with sprouted grains as opposed to flour. So, along with many other positives, you don’t get the heavy, tired feeling of eating wheat and you get lots more protein. Toasted is really where it shines. A nice little snack is a piece of the toast with a small spread of Smart Balance butter and cinnamon (there we go with that cinnamon again…)
–Almonds and Walnuts
16 ounces of nuts at prices that are less than Shop Rite (or Marsh for the Indiana people!)
Fantastic source of protein, a quick snack hard-boiled, and, at $1.99 per dozen, makes me seriously question going out for a $12 NY omelette…
The ones that are called something like Mini Soy Multigrain Crackers are my favorite. A hint of soy sauce does add some sodium, but all in all a great snack. Not wheat, so again, no heavy feeling, and they are tiny, so 35 is a serving at 130 calories and very little fat. Good ingredients, and with hummus, divine.
Well this list could go on and on, but I have to go to bed! Goodnight all, and dreams of Trader Joe’s!
This is a post I have been thinking about for months, and it is finally time to get it up here….
Actors Gratitude Journal
As a performer, one lives with a lot of rejection, long hours, running around in rain and sun, morning and night, hurry-up-and-waiting, and crabby people.
As a performer, one also lives his or her dreams, pursuing that passion which is so strong it drives one to follow those dreams despite any of the above.
Beside this HUGE reason an actor has for giving thanks, here are some of the simple, and not-so-simple, day-to-day positives that being an NYC actor brings~
Auditioning with Thanks…
-See your friends
-Meet new friends
-Get work done while at work….makes sense…but a lot of people don’t necessarily see it like that…
-Practice your craft (singing, performing monologues, dancing)
-Free dance class, sometimes with people you would pay big money to actually take from (i.e. Andy Blankenbeuler, Randy Skinner….for the non-musical theatre people reading this, let me know if you need some more details 😉 )
-Network…never know who will be sitting next to you
-See parts of the city (Chelsea one moment, Times Square the next, the random trip to Brooklyn….don’t get too lost!)
-Not have to sit at a desk
-Exercise (Not seeing noneq here, run to the next one, sign in, oh another where they are seeing us, run there….etc.)
-Learn from others….again, for free (overhearing monologues & songs, talking with people with other life experiences…)
-Become friends with Staples….print, copy, print, print…
-Find out from other performers about good classes, people, opportunities…
-And the simple but helpful pleasure of finding out where it is and the passcode to a restroom at the Actor’s Equity Building so can actually have a restroom to use…
(It’s 615 and in the stairwell near the third floor, by the way…)
This list could certainly go on, and I would absolutely love any comments anyone may have!
“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
Grace brings contentment.
I found this quote on my Yogi tea months and months, maybe a year, ago, and hadn’t seen it since. Then, just a moment ago, I reached for a nice, soothing cup of that tea, and, upon opening the tea packet, saw again:
Grace brings contentment.
That’s all 🙂
A week ago Friday, I was blessed with five hours with a friend since preschool, Caroline! We decided to ‘be spontaneous,’ hopping on the subway to the Upper East Side to explore more of Manhattan. Beginning at E 88th and East End, we didn’t stop walking, or talking, until Midtown West! We had such a wonderful time.
In college, as I learned more and more about health and nutrition, I also discovered (more and more) just how much of the American population knows very little (not everyone, but many!).
Creativity is also a part of this. When presented with variety of food choice, as we would be at the house at Butler, if the ‘main dish’ was not enticing, I witnessed many people shut off, decide there was ‘nothing’, and go make pb&j or cereal. However, in exploring the many ‘sides’ including in our buffet, one can easily make multiple meals!
I was asked to explain what I had created so many times, one person even insisting I should write ideas in a blog for them. Well, I may be a year and a half late, but here we go…
My base foundations- the three most common in my daily diet:
1. Fruit combinations with fats and proteins.
This includes any variety of whole fruits, chopped up in a bowl with peanut butter (all natural Trader Joe’s no salt), some sort of granola-like mix, a bit of cinnamon (good for your blood sugar), and something that ties it all together such as plain yogurt or unsweetened (which is still very sweet) applesauce.
Another popular variation is the banana, peanut butter, toast combo, or a sliced apple with peanut butter.
If you aren’t peanut butter-crazed like me, raw almonds, walnuts, and roasted edamame also make excellent additions. So does almond butter, though pricey.
And, of course, the old stand-by: cereal. How do we make it more nutritionally beneficial? Add fruit (blueberries, bananas,…), healthy milk (great protein), nuts, and flax seed.
When cold especially, oats with bananas or berries, cinnamon, and peanut butter makes a great meal.
When on the run, an inexpensive, extremely good-for-you snack is a piece of fruit. If not satisfied, try to accompany with a fat and protein.
2. Vegetable combinations.
Fruits are to my breakfast as vegetables are to my lunch and dinner– when I cook at my apartment. Say you don’t like vegetables? Well, there are also many discrete ways to add them to your diet.
My classic go-to if in my apartment: Whatever vegetables I have, toss in the pan on the stove with olive oil and Italian red wine vinegar, then add whatever else you want– spices, tofu/chicken/egg/other protein, brown rice, cheese…Have a side of hummus and crackers….And suddenly there is a fulfilling, complete meal, full of healthy things and very flavorful. Pile on top of spinach for an excellent salad as well.
Another favorite: hummus. Carrots and hummus. Mushrooms and hummus. Grape tomatoes and hummus. Rice crackers and hummus. Just be sure to note ingredients and sodium/fat contents when buying hummus (or making it!). Each brand, even each flavor, varies immensely.
Also, a tofu, mushroom, spinach sandwich makes for a great meal with some sprouted grain, super-healthy and super-dense bread. Be sure to spread hummus, mustard, and/or olive oil for a moist, satisfying sandwich. (And of course don’t forget the spices.) If tofu grosses you out, I challenge you to try it in a stir fry or a sandwich with spices and other flavors and be surprised.
3. I guess this would be my treats that I actually spend more money on in a blue moon 🙂 So not in my “daily diet”, but another component anyway.
My top two: a delicious, swirled cone of low-fat frozen yogurt with sprinkles and a nice, crispy pizza.
I just love both of those, but it’s a bit pricey to indulge too often. These are both on the healthy-side as well, as the cone is low-fat fro yo, and usually the pizza I get is very thin, with little cheese, and I am one of those “oil blotting” people.
So there you go– Hopefully something sounded good here that you want to try at home, too!