5 Wellness Pros’ Must-Buys at Trader Joe’s

Health stories of 2018

April 23, 2018

By Leah Vanderveldt

Healthy food has a rep for being super-pricey. That’s why we’re psyched to see cheap eats haven Trader Joe’s offering cauliflower pizza crusts, riced broccoli, grass-fed butter, and other good-for-you essentials. We polled some of our favorite wellness pros to find out what’s always in their carts (aside from the Joe Joe’s–or is that just us?).

Jessica Murnane
Women’s health advocate, podcaster, author of One Part Plant
TJ’s pick: Unsweetened acai packs
“The reason these packs are great is that they are just the acai, which is awesome,” she says. “So many of the acai packs on the market have added sugar or other ingredients, which seems unnecessary. I always blend them with a greens powder or spinach, and you can’t even taste the greens. Great for a newbie greens eater, for kids, or if you’re getting bored with your green smoothies.” (Bonus: Check out her recipe for acai bowls.)

Kelly Ohnona
Holistic health coach
TJ’s picks: Red lentil sedanini pasta, tahini
“The red lentil sedanini is a very good gluten-free, vegan alternative to regular pasta,” Ohnona says. “If you need to increase your protein intake because you’re a vegetarian, you’re working out, or you’re iron deficient, lentils are great for you, and this product puts them in pasta form. It’s very versatile and cooks in 10 minutes. I like it with olive oil, pine nuts and sometimes I’ll make a 2-minute sauce with tomatoes and spinach sautéed in a pan.” Tahini is one of my favorite items ever,” she adds. “I use it in my dressings all the time to make them creamy, mixing it with maple syrup, cumin, lemon, sesame oil, and mustard. I also use lots of tahini when I make my own hummus.”

Talia Pollack
Plant-based chef, health coach
TJ’s picks: Baked black-bean chips, cauliflower rice, spices
“I’m in love with Trader Joe’s because it’s the only place on the planet where I can reliably find delicious baked tortilla chips for a Saturday guac and Netflix night,” Pollack says. “It’s so nice having chips that are crispy but aren’t deep fried so they don’t have that added fat and, more importantly, don’t upset my stomach.
“Having cauliflower rice that is already ‘riced’ for me is a godsend,” she adds. “It’s really convenient and makes it worlds easier to eat cauliflower rice on the reg.”
Plus, “Nothing beats TJ’s spices,” she says. “They’re affordable and they have every kind. I rely heavily on spices to give my healthy food some flava-flava.”

Kayleen St. John
Registered dietitian, executive director of nutrition and strategic development at Euphebe
TJ’s pick: Steamed and peeled baby beets
“These make adding beets to a salad or sautéed dish a breeze,” St. John says. “Beets are a great source of dietary nitrates (and no, not the kind added to preserve deli meats). Naturally occurring dietary nitrates help to vasodilate our blood vessels and make it easier for our bodies to transport oxygen to our muscles. I love to add these beets to a jewel-toned root vegetable sauté or as a shortcut for a marinated beet salad. Or I like to toss a few beets into plain hummus for a beet-y, pink update.”

Amie Valpone
Chef, wellness consultant and author of Eating Clean
TJ’s pick:
Nuts and seeds
“Walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds–they’re incredibly fresh and easy to use in recipes,” Valpone says. “They also pack a punch of protein, fiber and loads of nutrients in every bite. I’m a huge fan of eating a good amount of healthy fats every day because they’re so important for our health, especially for women and their hormones. I often take a handful of every nut and seed I purchase and toss them into my food processor to make a delicious nut/seed butter for the week. It’s so easy to add to oatmeal, smoothies, salad dressings and as a drizzle for roasted veggies with a pinch of sea salt. I also love to carry TJs’ bags of nuts and seeds around New York City with me for a snack when I get hungry in-between meals and I feel my blood sugar dropping, instead of looking for a vending machine or candy, which is what most of my clients often reach for.”