2 Easy Dinner Ideas & Reduced Guilt?!?

I ran…. for about about .25 miles of Brooke’s run.  She is filling out the little squares on her school’s marathon paper like crazy and asked me to join her.  My hamstrings are pretty tight but the rest of my body feels great (but I’ll still wait until next week to go on any runs unless they are short ones with Brooke).

Skye threw her unicorn out of the jogging stroller (that was Brooke’s favorite game too when she was Skye’s age) but we luckily found it awhile later.

PS do you think we have enough unicorns?  Beretta was not amused.  Also, Skye started saying, “Etta, Etta, Etta” to Beretta and it’s pretty adorable.

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Just a normal morning around here…

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It was so good to see Knox again.  One of the first things he told me when I saw him was that he winked at his crush that is in his class yesterday… And then we discussed Pokemon.

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We had soccer!

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I’m always very excited to eat at home again after eating out a lot while traveling.  A cheese and cracker board sounded so so good on Tuesday so I went to TJ’s for the goods.

PS ‘Reduced Guilt’ crackers were an accidental grab… I meant to get the normal ones.  REDUCED GUILT??? ABOUT CRACKERS?  I. Do. Not. Understand. Why do companies try to start the idea in people’s brains that food should be related to guilt?  That packaging was thrown away as soon as I realized what it said because I do not want my kiddos thinking that they should feel guilty about eating anything.

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It turned out to be so so so good… Our board is small so we had to refill but I feel like this will be a meal happening during the summer often.  The girls loved it!

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Brooke asked for me to pack her lunch with the same goodness.  Still loving this lunchbox of hers.

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Another easy meal (that I found on the TJ’s meal ideas for busy mom’s Facebook page)!   Frozen Garlic naan bread topped with bbq sauce, chicken, red onion, mozzarella cheese and cilantro once it came out of the oven.  The kids made their own with pizza sauce and cheese.

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Regan sent me a picture from the livestream of me crossing the finish line and it made me so happy.  That finish line… I have a deep love for it.

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My brother sent this to me.  I am so the person on the right and Andrew is the person on the left.  Which one are you?

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What’s your run today?!?

Made any easy dinners lately that you loved?  I would love to copy you!

Is there anything that drives you crazy about food labeling?

Have any favorite things from Trader Joe’s lately that I need to go buy?!

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52 comments

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Your food all looks amazing . . . and totally agree about the packaging. Why can’t things just be labelled with what’s in them (e.g. multigrain crackers) without attaching emotional stigma to the BOX???

I have not been running this week–I have a friend visiting, and we’ve done tons of walking and exploring, which has been so much fun. I looked at my step tracker at the end of the day and it was at 31,400 steps. I think that’s a new record for me!

Also, I haven’t said it yet, but GOOD JOB in Boston! You look like you had a blast and you did so well. (Just running a marathon post-ultra is amazing!)

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P.S. I am totally the person on the left . . . I fret if I hit the halfway point! I guess now I know what I need to look for in a future husband? ;-)

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I know… it’s like they are trying to train us to feel bad about eating food. It’s all about money for companies and how they can get people to buy their products! 31,400 steps… you guys are having a ton of fun! Keep having so much fun and thank you so much. Have a wonderful day Kristin and teach me to be on the left haha!

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Oh man, that Gruyere is the BEST. I might have to go get some today. I got those bento lunchboxes for my kids after seeing them on here and they are AMAZING! I’m so glad you posted those. Thank you!! For whatever reason it makes packing lunches seem so much easier!

Reduced guilt is the dumbest thing ever. I feel like Trader Joe’s uses that label a lot. :(

I’m going to hit the trails today for an easy run after a great track workout last night! It’s been so beautiful here on the east coast this week. I’m sure it will turn into hot and humid nastiness in about a week. ;-)

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Oh I am so glad you are loving the bento lunchboxes, aren’t they the best?! I hope your trail run is a great one today and way to go on that track workout. Keep soaking in the great weather Mollie!

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I totally agree on the “reduced guilt”. I actually wrote to TJ about it. Perhaps other readers can do the same on their website. They are pretty receptive to their customer ideas, so maybe if enough of us write and explain how “reduced guilt” perpetuates diet culture and eating disorders, that they will stop using those harmful terms. I am so glad you threw the packaging away – you are such a good example for your kids! (And congrats on Boston, again!)

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Alisha. That is awesome and I am absolutely going to write to them (I didn’t even think about doing that)! WHO ELSE WANTS TO WRITE IN?! Thank you Alisha for being a good example to me of doing something about this type of problem and I hope you have a wonderful day!

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Four miles! I’m up to four miles and will stay there for a few more weeks. I’m determined to not let my knee swell up again. I can start training in July. I really hope I have the patience.
A cracker board looks like a good summer meal. I would add cucumbers and strawberries. My husband would add a hamburger.
My favorite thing to do for easy meals is cook in bulk and freeze. This is how we get through tax season. We are currently out of food at my house. I will need to start cooking again because heat and eat is quickest for warm weather so I don’t spend all of time in the kitchen.
Have a great day!

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FOUR MILES… way to go Lee! I hope your knee stays super happy and that your training can start in July. Patience is so so hard. Good call on the cucumbers and strawberries and Andrew probably wished that we added a hamburger ha. I need to cook in bulk and freeze, such a great idea. TAX SEASON IS OVER FOR YOU RIGHT?!?!

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Can we all just appreciate Brookes form in her soccer photo?! She is amazing!!!! Go Brooke!!!

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RIGHT!? Whenever I watch her fly across the roads/grass I think about how I want to copy her form! Have a wonderful day Emily!

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Today’s run: a lovely easy 6 miles in perfect 45 degree weather! This is the best time of year for running where I live :-D

The chocolate covered crystalized ginger from Trader Joe’s is amazing! I highly recommend it.

Our go to super lazy meal recently is a big pile of raw veggies (carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, etc.) plus hummus and pita chips/pita bread. If we’re feeling fancy we’ll add some olives and feta. It’s super easy and does a decent job covering all the major food groups! And it makes an easy+packable lunch.

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Same here… nothing beats running this time of year (and the fall)! So glad you had a perfect run this morning Isla. I need to troy that at TJ’s, that sounds so good. We need to try that meal, Andrew would love that! Have a wonderful day.

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I love the Naan pizza idea! Have you ever tried their fresh pizza dough? It is very good too. I was not aware Trader Jo’s had a website with recipes but I am definitely going to check it out. I am totally the person on the left lol!! Have a great Thursday!

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Oh I love their fresh pizza dough… it’s so so good. So it’s actually a Facebook group! You should join it because they have so many fun ideas. Teach me to be the person on the left! Have a great day Lynn!

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Easy recipe – “Russian Chicken”:
(This is soooooo goooooood)
– 2 lbs chicken breasts (i cut into chunks)
– 8 oz apricot preserves
– 8oz russian dressing
– 1/2 pkg (dry) onion soup mix
– Bake in slow cooker for 5-6ish hours on low and serve over rice or cauliflower rice.

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Ginette… YOUR COMMENT MADE MY DAY!!! My mom used to make Russian Chicken all of the time for us when we were growing up and I totally forgot about it. I’m going to make this and I love that you do it in the crockpot, I am going to try that. Thanks Ginette, I can’t wait to have this!

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I did a cheese board the other day for lunch with a friend. It was so good, so yummy, and totally hit the spot! I love the cheeses at Trader Joe’s too!
I hate the “reduced guilt” packaging! I think the company thinks they’re being cute/funny, but it absolutely sends the wrong message! Why not just stick with the original “reduced fat/calories” labeling?
Today’s run will be a mile to “The Stairs”, stairs for about 40 minutes, then a mile home. A park by us has these amazing, really long, multilevel stairs, that we’re put in for the purpose of exercise. They are so great, and it is so fun to see so many people using them. Then day 18 of the 30 day ad challenge! That’s starting to get real tough!
Have a great day Janae 😊

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I just want to buy every cheese that they offer! Stairs for 40 minutes… go Wendy go! That sounds so hard and way to go on your ab challenge. Thanks Wendy, you too!

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I got the beet crackers from Trader Joe’s last time I was in Chicago. They were so good. They don’t really taste like a beet or cracker… more like a little tortilla chip.

I always forget how quick and easy it is to grill a pork tenderloin. But that was the only option the other night and it was so good. Paired it with some rice and stir fry veggies.

Hoping to squeeze a run in after work since I slept through it this morning….no regrets though when its raining outside and your bed is super cozy.

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I need to get those crackers for Andrew today, he will love those! I hope your run later on is a great one and I am so glad you got to sleep in a bit later than normal. Enjoy your day Corrinne!

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Food guilt should only come if you’ve stolen the crackers.
Good for you!
And Deena is the nicest!

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THAT IS SO SO TRUE!!! Oh I am totally going to use that line with my friends. Thanks Molly! Have a wonderful day!

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I just bought some lemon cookie thins that are delicious! I love making crock pot soups and stews and freezing them for future meals.

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I will totally pick those up. Thanks so much Kimberly. I need to freeze meals for the future like you, such a great idea. Have a wonderful day!

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My daughter is only 6 months old, but I’m already thinking about how to model a healthy relationship with food. Love your reaction to the reduced guilt crackers! I appreciate you and other moms posting how you model this with your kids- very helpful for us coming after.

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YES!! I am so so glad that you are already doing this. Your daughter is so lucky to have you! Thanks Katherine and keep me updated on how you and your little one are doing!

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Naan pizza is an amazing idea! I’m going to try that next week for dinner! I also love TJ’s gnocchi as an easy meal. And their frozen rice is the best for burrito bowls or breakfast bowls at home (basically a burrito bowl with eggs too haha)!

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Let me know what you think of it! Oh their gnocchi is so good. I’m going to try a breakfast bowl… our family would love that. Thanks Mariah and have a beautiful day!

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I wish I had space for a home gym, like Skye has her indoor slide :)
I’m definitely the nearly-empty gas tank person. My goal is always to fill up when it gets below 1/2, but I somehow don’t do it until the light goes on. Oops!
Nothing exciting, but I made brinner last night–always goes over well around here.
That “reduced guilt” label is not a good message. Food is supposed to nourish us, not make us feel guilty.
Not running today, but I’m planning to get the kids out for a spring break hike of our little mountain (spoiler alert: Maryland mountains are not at all like Utah mountains).
Have a great day!

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Hahaha you are not alone… Andrew usually just fills it up for me because he knows I will wait for the light. Brinner is the best! Oh I love that… NOURISH! Have the best time on your hike and come visit Utah and I’ll take you on some hikes:) . Have a great day Corey!

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I am also someone who knows their car and if I even think about letting my husband’s car get below 3/4 of a tank, he’s convinced I’m going to run it out of gas and damage the pump. It’s the differences that make marriage interesting right?! In any event, we’re celebrating 12 years this year, so I can’t be too wrong.

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Hahah it really is and I think you are definitely the right one on this one. Happy 12 years Stephanie!

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I love that garlic naan bread! It’s so versatile! My daughter loves their cheese puffs (snack food), so every time I go I have to grab a few bags. I like the turkey meatballs, they are so easy to add to something I’m already cooking for some added protein.

I’m hoping to run after work today, but it’s going to be warm! 😫

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I am totally going to grab the cheese puffs and turkey meatballs, thanks Laura! Enjoy your run later on today!

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I LOVE your attitude towards food and how you are modeling that for your kiddos. That packaging is ridiculous and good for you for realizing it and eliminating it from your house. I am very mindful of how I talk about food and my body. My 18 month old daughter loves all food, and I try to model that. And being 24 weeks pregnant with her baby sister, I want my girls to see me eat healthy to fuel my body, eat treats that make me happy and enjoy them, and workout to keep me strong and healthy.

Also, we have all the unicorns at our house too. Actually the playroom at our new house is going to be unicorn themed!

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CONGRATULATIONS MEGAN on your pregnancy:) . Your girls are so lucky to have you. I really think that we can really make the biggest difference with this next generation and their feelings about food and themselves. You are doing awesome! PS our girls are almost the same age, that is so fun. Unicorn themed–> our kids are going to be jealous ha!

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I am right there with you in regards to labels! I never talk about reduced fat, low fat, blah blah blah and I hate seeing all of the marketing surrounding it. I also hate that packaged meals claim to be healthy. Maybe healthier than fast food burgers but not healthy. Just no. It’s too confusing and it sabotages people. My dad is someone who does not have any understanding of nutrition and falls into traps very easy. For ex: when juice is labeled as being made with real fruit juice he thinks it’s a healthy drink. When something is claimed to be low fat he doesn’t bother looking at the sugars in it. Etc. He has a slew of health issues so labels and nutrition facts are really important to his health. Done ranting! Sorry! Ha!
I’m surprised TJ’s would label crackers with such ridiculousness. Speaking of, we love their Mandarin chicken w/ Jasmin rice and also the strawberry licorice! The chicken is pre cooked so all you have to do is bake it and the orange sauce it comes with is pretty tasty too.
Oh, and I am so the person on the right!! With every sensor light that comes on!!
Have a great day!

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Isn’t it sad that these companies contribute to the diet culture and people’s relationships with food ALL FOR MORE MONEY. They know that if they can get us to feel guilty about eating, they can then sell more of what they claim to be ‘healthy.’ I am so so sorry about your dad, it’s so so hard.
Going to pick up that Mandarin chicken, thanks Jenny!
Teach me to pay attention to the sensors. Thanks Jenny, you too!

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I have a list a mile long for Trader Joe’s. But if you haven’t already, get their gyro meat. That plus the Costco nann, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and a yogurt sauce is soo good. For yogurt sauce you can just so diced cumber in Greek yogurt with lemon and dill weed and it’s so good.

I did easy ground pork tacos last night that were yummy and an Italian sausage sandwich the night before. :)

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I’m definitely the person on the left! I can feel the anxiety start to build whenever I’m below half a tank haha! I also hate the Trader Joe’s “Reduced Guilt” labeling, but I’ll give them a pass since I love almost everything else about that store.

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HELLO! Love your blog. I really like your VS lip gloss, what color do you use? Also, I noticed you have Collagen Peptides on your “Gear” list, do you use this? I’ve been wondering about it so any info would be appreciated! (how much, notice any changes?)

Thanks,
Janell

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Hey Janell! Thank you so so much! I use the flavor PUNCHY from Victoria Secrets for my lip gloss. I do still use Collagen Peptides but not as consistent as I used to. I used to use them daily in my food and now I probably only do a few times a month… I need to get more consistent again and I’ll let you know if I notice changes. Thank you so much and I hope you have a great day!

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We do the cracker board thing a lot… we call it “picky plate” and cut up a lot of veggies and have hummus. My husband requires that we have some kind of meat with it so I’ll pick up a rotisserie chicken.

Rotisserie chickens are really my go-to easy meal. The Costco ones are the best but the grocery store will do and is on the way home from softball. My family didn’t exactly complain when we had that planned and they were sold out so I walked out of the store with a box of fried chicken instead. ;-)

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Aaaaargh on the ‘reduced guilt!’ Even gets to me when some of the people I follow label their recipes as ‘guilt-free’ because they use healthier alternatives like avocado or cauliflower. I don’t think any food should be labeled to make us think we are ‘guilty’ if we eat it! Can we all just label it as healthier? 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

Totally unrelated…why do Knox and Brooke look like teenagers already?!?

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oh my goodness those pink cheeks on Brooke look so refreshing and is it that she has a post run glow?!

Trader Joe’s, how I miss thee. My mom just sent us a box that had dunkers, mini pb cups, and triple ginger snaps.
I just made the easiest dinner that ended up being really yummy. It was an asap back up since plan A fell through. I sauteed zucchini, carrots, and red swiss chard, then added frozen diced hokkaido pumpkin and put a lid on. I plopped it on buttered rice then put shredded coconut and cashews on top with a dollop of coconut milk yogurt.

Run today was a hilly trail run that I saw a snake on last week so I’m super ridiculous tentative on it now. Our “snakes” in Germany are really legless lizards and only about 6-8inches long but they’re still terrifying. On my way back I from the trail I popped into the sweetest craft show in our community and carried home a bag of earrings, homemade soap, and a darling headband.

Congrats again on a FUN BOSTON!!!! What a great experience for you and Andrew!!!! I thought the Almond Breeze singlets were cute, too. simple and classic/retro.

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My favorite weekend “Lunch” is ham, cheese and crackers. So simple and so delicious. Also I am the person on the left for gas and my fiancé is the person on the right lol.

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Congrats on your great marathon!!! You inspire me to run more. My husband and I love the peanut butter filled pretzels and cheddar bacon ranch dip from TJs–the best!!!

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SO amazing that you ran Boston! My boyfriend ran it last year in the totally hellish weather, but it was still uber fun to watch, nonetheless! It’s on my bucket list to run. What was your time?! Kudos to you!

Fun fact: I never stepped foot into a Trader Joe’s until I moved to Los Angeles in Aug. *GASP!* This makes me want to create a cheese board (maybe with a glass of red wine??) after work.

Keep on keepin’ on!

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I hate all the reduced-guilt stuff and diet mentality! Our absolute favorite TJ’s buy is the dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I buy them at least 2 at a time. My husband would tell you he loves the sliced cheese as well – it tastes so much better than other supermarkets and is cut more thickly too.

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First- Brooke’s running form = goals. Second- hahahaha dying at the photo at the end. I am with you Andrew (1/4 of a tank = I’m low and need gas ASAP/no one take my car cause you could get stranded without gas). My husband is the risky one- one time we were 3 blocks from our house at a red light and his car died. I was worried and thought something was wrong with the car and asked if he knew what was going on. He hesitated to say anything and said, uhhh we ran out of gas…he had to push his car across 4 lanes of traffic (while I steered). So dangerous! Needless to say I didn’t have to verbalize my anger (my face said everything lol). He hasn’t gone that low since ;)

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LOVE that gas tank photo! That’s totally my boyfriend and I (I wait ’til empty – i’ve still got like 40 miles!).

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