Help! – No Time to Cook Shopping List

Trader Joes Shopping List1

By Sunday, I am usually at a place where I have a piece of paper with the recipes planned out for the week, shopping is done, vegetables and fruits cleaned and even one or two of those recipes have been cooked.  But sometimes like this week that wasn’t the case so I decided to see what I could pull together to ease the energy expended in cooking every night and still stay on a healthy eating plan.  I had to let go a bit of eating all organic but because I know this isn’t going to be my norm I’m okay with that.  I also thought this would be helpful for those that don’t enjoy cooking as much as I do or are having “one of those weeks.”

So I had 30 minutes to run to our local Trader Joe’s and here’s what I picked up.  Don’t have a Trader Joe’s?  I’m sure your grocery has similar items.  Be a good label reader and choose items that don’t have ingredients you can’t pronounce because those aren’t probably foods.  Always try to do most of your shopping on the parameter of your market.  


  • Package of Kale
  • Package of shredded broccoli/cabbage/carrot combo
  • Mushrooms
  • Organic Apples
  • Cherries or another fruit
  • Fresh Peas/Carrots/Celery/Etc. – You can choose how much time you have to spend.  The more prepared the vegetables are the more you’ll pay.


  • 2 packages of already cooked chicken or a whole roasted chicken – you can often find these in your deli area.  
  • Raw Organic Chicken Breasts – This can cook while you are cooking hard boiled eggs.


  • Prepared Salads – stick to the ones that have an oil and vinegar dressing and use only half the amount.  Our Trader Joe’s have many to choose from.  Go ahead and buy a couple that don’t have a meat.  You can always add some of the already cooked chicken to them.  Last week these salads saved me.
  • Hummus


  • Cage Free Eggs – Hardboiled (Often you can find these cooked but I think it’s worth the time to make these at home.  (They only take 30 minutes and need very little attention – Recipe
  • Fage Plain Greek Yogurt


  • Frozen Brown Rice or Quinoa
  • Pineapple


  • No Sugar Added Almond or Peanut Butter
  • A 100% Fruit Spread – will be near the jams and jellies
  • Raw Almonds 
  • Raw Pecans
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Canned Lentil Soup
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Dried Blueberries


  • Berry Carbonated Water

Here is What I Can Do With All of This

I have my premade salads that I may need to add to precooked chicken to.

I can make up lunches  for work or dinners made up of chicken/vegetables/rice or quinoa

I can make up my own salad of kale, broccoli/carrot/cabbage mix, a few dried blueberries, sunflower seed, cooked chicken with a little dressing (Recipe below)  Tip: A lot of people don’t care for kale salad but there is a reason – they haven’t massaged it.  Cut you kale in small pieces.  Place in a bowl with a bit of olive oil and then give your fingers a good workout by massage the kale for a few minutes.  It’s amazing what a difference it makes in the texture.

I can have a bowl of lentil soup

I have hardboiled eggs that can be used for breakfast or a snack.  (Portable protein – Note:  Oh, how I hated eggs as a child.  My parents are absolutely amazed to see me eat these now.  They still aren’t my favorite but I’d rather fuel my body well than have everything that goes into my mouth be my favorite.)

I have a nice Greek plain yogurt that provides protein and allows me to make a healthy version of a flavored yogurt by adding a 100% fruit spread into it.  Recipe Below

I have nuts, fruits and vegetables that can be placed in portion controlled bags for snacks.  I can have a little almond/peanut butter with an apple or some hummus with my veggies.

I have frozen pineapple that I can add to filtered water or the berry bubbly water.

All of this ran me under $80.00

I also benefit because Shakeology which is made up of whole foods is part of my daily nutrition.  There are so many different types of blended shakes adding fruit, spices, etc I can enjoy or if I’m in a hurry I can mix it with almond milk/water in a shaker cup.

I believe with all my heart that God wants us to take care of ourselves.  He doesn’t make junk and ingesting junk is not going to help us run effectively and efficiently.  We often don’t have energy due to our poor food choices.  Think about it – we are more intentional about the type of fuel that goes into our cars than we are about how we fuel our body.

IMG_0797 Favorite Salad Dressing

Veggie Packs

Yogurt Parfait – You can sprinkle a little granola on top


Ginger Peach Protein Shake

Note – I have been paid nothing from Trader Joe’s to mention them in this post.

If you are interested in learning more about Shakeology, please fill out the form below and I’ll contact you.


Water – It’s a Choice!


I am on Day 5 of a Free 5-Day Happy Hydration Challenge with a wonderful group of women.  We are learning and encouraging each other about the importance of staying hydrated, especially with water.

Water Cups 

 I bought 2 new cups before I started the challenge as a motivator but I have to admit that drinking water is something I need to be intentional about.  I get busy and pretty soon the day is halfway gone and I am not where I want to be.   Making right choices isn’t easy.  It comes with effort.  It means I need to set aside something I want to do at that minute and course correct.

Here are a few ideas on how to infuse your water with flavor

Water Challenge - Citrus

Twenty years ago I was a mess. I had headaches, no energy, and brain fog. I was in my life but at the same time I felt like I was looking through a thick piece of plastic watching my life happen. Once my young son asked me how many dimes were in a dollar and I couldn’t find the answer in my mind.  That motivated me to make a doctor’s appointment.  After a 6-hour glucose test, the diagnosis came back that I was hypoglycemic – my blood sugar would dip into the 60’s.  The way I coped – feed myself sugar or simple carbs – feel good for a little bit – then nose dive again with my body screaming for more sugar and simple carbs.  A terribly vicious circle.  I’ve never had a substance abuse problem but I believe their must be some similarities.

That day I left the doctor’s office with a list of foods to avoid and a list of recommended foods. I was relieved that I had an answer but I also felt pretty sorry for myself – okay I’ll admit I was having a full blown pity party for something I enjoyed doing was researching recipes, making those recipes, sharing what I made and eating those recipes.  And now most of those items used for doing what I loved were staring back at me under the column titled AVOID on the piece of paper I held in my hands.

I complained to a friend who had the same condition “Look at all the foods/beverages I can’t have anymore.” She was a little older and lot wiser and she challenged me with “Look at all the foods you can eat.” Later at her house she asked me what I’d like to drink? “Well,” I responded “I can’t have anything but water.” I will never forget her words to me  “No, Debbie, you can choose whatever you want to drink. God gives you the freedom of choice. Now what do you choose?” I did some growing up that day. I’d asked for help – I had received it. I wanted to know what was wrong – I knew. But did I truly want to make the changes necessary to better my life. What was I willing to give up – to learn to do differently? I had to ask myself why would I continue to make choices of putting something in my body that essentially hurt it.

Well, little did I know that someday I would have a blog where I shared recipes, be a health/fitness coach and be running a water challenge. God does have a sense of humor. Over the years my body has been my classroom as new health issues have come up but the same truth repeats itself – we are to honor our bodies and I think the best way we can do that is to stick to as many foods/beverages that are as close to what God put on this earth.


So I’m going to touch on soda…I used to be a soda drinker 20 years ago.  Then I bought into the occasional diet soda thinking calories were all that mattered. When we are thinking of fueling our body/hydrating our body just because it’s liquid doesn’t mean it counts like water. Be intentional with what you are putting in your body – it will will make a difference in the way you feel, think and what kind of energy you have. 

Now I don’t know about you but I’m heading to the kitchen to refill my water bottle.

To follow my nutrition/fitness journey and read how I’ve lost 16 inches in 4 months click HERE  I have a new 21-Day Challenge Group starting on June 29th.  The program I am using, 21 Day Fix, as well as as 21 Day Fix Extreme is  on sale through the month of June so it’s a great time to jump on board.  For those that battle hypoglycemia, the highs and lows of blood sugar that sugar and simple carbs produce this program is a great fit.  I eat 6 times a day using the nutrition program and it’s amazing how this allows my blood sugar to remain stable throughout the day.  I’m just a message away at  We Can Do This Together.

My lastest published before and after pictures:

July Challenge - front