Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Not Trader Joe's

It's not Trader Joe's, but it's not bad. One of these opens in town today. Actually, other than the lack of Trader Joe's, we do have a fine selection of grocery stores - Central Market, which is the upscale version of HEB, a new HEB store in Johnson County, Aldi's, plus all the usual suspects. Right now, I am doing most of my shopping at Kroger. The Super Target that is within walking distance, just doesn't have the produce selection that I need. I'm an outer-ring shopper and if the greens aren't good, well, I'm taking my green elsewhere.

And speaking of sprouts, I love the manager at Kroger, because this week (again) I loaded up on the Manager's Specials. This week it netted me some radish and clover sprouts. They were packaged as Spicy Sprouts and they were good! I've never been a big sprout fan, but of course, I never buy them. So tempted by the big orange sticker, for .89, I gave them a try. Great addition to my salads.

I've got some strategic planning to do to get through the next few days: I have a party (with food - hopefully fruit) this afternoon at work. I'm going to Dallas after work to have dinner with the kids. Pizza place - salad and margherita pizza for me. Thursday should be clear of outside eating responsibilities. Friday morning is yet another office breakfast. Again, I am bringing yogurt and supplies. My yogurt bar turned out to be a big hit. I will try to remember my trick of getting a cup of coffee instead of loading up on party food. I think I'm clear until dinner on Sunday evening. Bick's family is coming up from Houston and he's hosting dinner. Which means he's grilling and I'm cooking - which I'm fine with. Gives me some control. I've suggested a vegetable casserole (no cream-of or cheese sauces) along with some toasted barley risotto. I'm hoping to tempt him with the risotto in order to slip the veggie dish in unadorned. He, of course, will grill the steaks. If that menu goes, then I can certainly make that work.

Which brings up an interesting question - how compatible/how much do you compromise with a partner on eating styles? Fortunately, Bick and I are mostly compatible. He's fine with "grilled and green" which is my basic position. He's not (traditionally) been a big sweet person, is not a fan of baked goods, other than the occasional pie. He doesn't do chips and is willing to adjust to my food weirdnesses. And while I would love it if he chose to be active with me, this part of the equation is much more important. I know myself well enough to know that I couldn't not function or live with anyone ever who is not willing to make, what for me, are necessary adjustments.

Food and exercise have gone mostly as planned - although I've missed out on the group exercise classes at lunch at the gym and have had to go it alone. Going it alone (for me) means for an easier workout than if I was in the company of others. On Monday, I was a right on time for class, but the instructor is so awesome, that the class was already full upon my arrival. Note to self - be early today! Then yesterday was to be a spin class, but a last minute work issue kept me at my desk until after the doors to the class had closed. But I still went on with my solo act.

As for my contractor, as I said, if I get through this project liking him even half as much as I did when I started, then it will be very good, indeed. His was the most expensive bid, but every review spoke of his dedication and sticking to his word, in addition to doing good work. I decided someone with that reputation in his field was worth the extra bucks. So far, I'm pleased to have bought myself some peace of mind. And he wasn't that much more expensive. I feel I made a good decision. My hope is that the working conditions weren't such that he would never consider working for me again. I'd like to keep this guy in my pocket, for sure.

And in other news - my sister has added another big step in her road to better health. She quit smoking - I think she's on day 5 now, so the worst of the physical stuff is probably over with. She is still sticking to her eating plan, from all that I can see. I do my best to be encouraging without being intrusive.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Sometimes the extra money is worth it.



  1. There's no Trader Joe's where I live now either. I make due with Whole Foods, Kroger, and the incredible selection at the brand new Super Target. I miss TJ's for some things and have my family send TJ Care Packages sometimes.

  2. Sprouts is good,
    Central Market is awesome!
    Of course, Whole Foods...
    And a couple of Independents here and there.
    And yep, I end up going to Kroger
    so much of the time. Bank there, too,
    just for the convenience of having to make
    only one stop!
    Grilled and green is a-ok!

  3. Today? It opens today?? YEAH!!! I've been waiting (impatiently) since before Christmas - I have to drive past it every time I take Teen Sons to school or to the orthodontist.

    Central Market is my all time favorite place for organic hormone free beef and poultry and fresh veggies. Kroger out by me in Parker County. We make do with (ack) Brookshires or WallyWorld for everyday stuff...and grab the fresh foodstuffs at the farmers' market or CM.

  4. We just got a Trader Joe's about a month ago. It is so busy on weekends that they have to have a traffic cop in the parking lot. We live in SE MN, and are the only TJ's for many miles around. People come from Iowa to shop TJ's! And I am happy because I no longer have to drive to the Twin Cities for my TJ's stuff. We also have a "Good Food Store," which is similar to Whole Food, but not quite as good. Anyway, good luck with your food planning!

    I'm lucky that my husband will eat almost anything that I make. (His mother was a notoriously terrible cook, so he appreciates almost everything.)

  5. I wish we had Trader Joe's in Houston. LOVE Central Market. I think there is a Sprouts around here somewhere. Will have to check. Like Anne, I end up at Kroger too. I know my way around the store so I can get in and out. Don't you hate searching for things at a new store? Though I guess it could be an adventure.

    Have a wonderful day. :)

  6. A good contractor is worth his/her weight in gold. Seriously. Unfortunately hard to come by.

    I miss TJs. It was so fun to shop there a couple weeks ago. The prices are good.

    We shop at the local Hannaford because produce prices are great. I love the manager there because he brings in strawberries *year round* at $2.99 - $3.99 a pound in winter and less in the summer. I don't know how he does it, but I won't complain!

    John and I have some real dissimilarities in our eating habits. I just let him cook those things he eats a lot of (beans) and he lets me cook the things I eat a lot of (broccoli) and never the twain shall meet :D

  7. Goodness. Mr. Helen and I are 180 on the eating stuff. His five food groups are:

    Chicken Wings
    Spaghetti with sausages & meatballs.

    I'm not kidding. I could keep that stuff in rotation forever. If I make a vegetable AND we're eating together, he'll take some. But unlike other leftovers he never takes leftover veggies, even when he claims he likes them.

    Having said that, he's not picky. And since I do the cooking, he eats what I make. So I try to compromise and he gets the things he loves worked into the rotation, most often with me making myself a separate dish or a leaner version. I can tell exactly when he's sick of healthier food because he will walk in the house with pizza box in hand and say, "Want some?"

  8. I do like the Sprouts near us, it is cheaper than Whole Foods, but with less selection. But overall their produce has been really nice and their meats are great.

    My hubs and I eat differently, not health wise, but he doesn't like fish at all and I eat alot of fish, so...he usually eats chicken when I eat fish.

    Polar's Mom

  9. Such great news about your sister! ~smile~

  10. My husband prefers it when we are eating healthier - the only things that bother him are when I make, say, black bean tacos with fresh pico in corn tortillas. He always wants to add chicken. Same for a big green salad - if it has beans, it has protein. Nope, still wants some chicken. It could be a lot worse, I know, so really, it's nothing.

    Whole Foods, Central Market and now Sprouts??? You have the best options up there! So lucky... :)

  11. Someday I'd like to go to a Trader Joe's. I've heard so much about them but there's not one here in H-town. I shop mostly at HEB or Kroger, but when I feel the urge to splurge, it's Whole Foods!

    Since my mom and I live together, she and I really like the same things - most of the time. She does, however, love to bake and she knows how much I wish she wouldn't. As a matter of fact, she's baking Monkey bread right now. I'm going to bed :)

  12. Eating would be easier if I lived alone! And last week my husband said he'd like to eat less red meat, not that we eat much as it is, but my teen eats meat and not the non-meat stuff my husband wants. It is driving me crazy to try to please them both. I do wish my husband didn't bring junk in the house. I am pretty sure the small amount of saturated fat in the red meat would not impact his cholesterol much if he was not also eating high fat chocolate!


We'll try this for a while.