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WIAW: Trader Joe’s and Christmas Dinner


Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has enjoyed their holidays so far and is looking to forward to ringing in the New Year next week. I’ve had a great time and I wanted to share some of my recent foods and festivities.

Last weekend, I visited Gainesville to work on packing and cleaning the old apartment, since the big move is this weekend. I hardly put a dent in it, but I did get to visit the recently opened Trader Joe’s in Butler Plaza.


I’ve been bouncing up and down at the idea of going since I heard we were getting one. And then I moved to Orlando, which doesn’t have one, even though it’s a bigger city… just sayinnnn…

My mind was blown by all the interesting and unique things they had to offer, and I was even more surprised by the prices. Most of the food had ingredient lists I could understand and pronounce, and cost a fraction of what Whole Foods or Fresh Market would charge.

I came home with some ravioli and pasta sauce to make for dinner, and Greek yogurt and potstickers that would be coming back to Altamonte with me.



Someone mentioned the “Three Buck Chuck” wines, and I couldn’t resist sampling a few of their signature $2.99 wines, which turned out to be delicious.


I also got a bottle of their Goddess dressing, which is similar to Annie’s Goddess dressing (my FAVORITE salad dressing) but costs $2 less.


My first Trader Joe’s experience (technically my second, but I hadn’t bought anything when I visited the one in New York) was an excellent one and I’ll definitely be going back whenever I’m in Gainesville.

On Christmas Eve, Troy and I went to see the lights at Crane’s Roost, a popular park, amphitheater, and exercise spot in Altamonte. Their lights were better than any I’d seen in Gainesville, and it made me feel good to know I live in a community that takes pride in themselves and offers fun, free things for its residents.



There was a Gator. I couldn’t resist. Even he’s doing the Chomp, see?

I didn’t get a good shot of the humongous tree, but it was stunning and expertly decorated, and definitely the highlight of the display.

I don’t remember what I ate for breakfast Christmas morning, since I was so excited about getting Christmas dinner ready. It was my first time cooking a big holiday meal, and our first time spending Christmas in Orlando, just the two of us, so I wanted everything to be perfect.


I made honey-dijon-BBQ-glazed chicken breast (since we don’t eat ham), white cheddar mac n’ cheese, my mom’s stuffing recipe, salad, and my famous green bean casserole.


I managed to keep it healthy by cutting the amount of salt and butter required in everything, filling my plate with salad first, keeping my portions small, and skipping a second helping.


I also made apple pie (heated up store-bought pie) topped with vanilla ice cream, and drank a glass of Evan Williams egg nog with it. It was so good and disappeared so fast that I didn’t even have a chance to take a picture. And this is a health and fitness blog, so if there’s no picture, it didn’t happen, right?


I’m wondering…


What’s your favorite holiday dish? How do you make it healthier?

Mine is definitely green bean casserole. I make it every chance I get, using Paula Deen’s recipe, but I switch up the measurements of the ingredients, while sticking to the same cooking instructions.


Her version:

  • 1/3 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cups sliced green beans
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (2.8-ounce) can French-fried onion rings
  • Pinch House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar

My version:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2.5 cups sliced green beans
  • 2 cups reduced (or no) sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup French-fried onion rings
  • pinch of pepper (no extra salt)
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar


About youmefit

I am a college student that is trying to stay physically fit and eat healthy. We all know how hard this is, so I am trying to post some tips, and get some discussions started so we can all learn from each other.


  1. Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile

    Oh man, I cannot WAIT to go to trader joes!

  2. I love Trader Joe’s. I’ve been there tons of times and I’m still blown away by their prices!

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