Trader Joe’s Favorites For Runners {Guest Post}

My apologies for falling off the grid since last week, but between attending a conference, getting sick, and leaving for vacation, blogging was the last thing on my mind. Lucky enough, I had already asked a couple of my favorite bloggers to help me out this week while I am away! Today I have a guest post from Meredith who blogs at The Cookie Chrunicles. She is here to share her wisdown about Trader Joe’s, specifically for runners!  I was excited to read this because I just recently started shopping at TJs and felt a little lost at first. Hopefully you find this as helpful as I did!

I am so excited that Lisa asked me to guest post today while she is away on vacation. Lisa and I both grew up in New York (Long Island) and while we have yet to meet in real life, I feel like I already know her so well! Isn’t it funny how blogging brings us runners together?!

My hope is that the next time Lisa is “home” in New York for a visit, we have the chance to run together and maybe do what bloggers do like eat at Whole Foods, go out for ice cream or shop at Trader Joe’s.

Speaking of TJ, I thought it would be fun and informative to put together some of my runner favorite foods from Trader Joe’s since it is my go-to grocery store.

This list is based on a combination of taste, functionality and price. Trader Joe’s, overall, has the best prices year round on almost everything. This helps me because I don’t need to worry about clipping coupons!

runner favorites from trader joes



$3.99 for a giant watermelon cannot be beat by any other grocery store on a regular basis. Not only is watermelon tasty and refreshing, for runners it serves the added purpose of rehydrating the body and balancing out our electrolytes.

Quick Watermelon Stats:

High in antioxidants which helps to fight free radicals in the body

High in vitamin A and C

Amazing source of lycopene

Rich in minerals to balance our electrolytes

Loaded with important B Vitamins

Has been known to reduce asthma and may help to lower the risk of colon cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and prostate cancer.

High water content helps to hydrate us and even has a cooling effect on the body

Frozen Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Before I started making my own steel-cut oatmeal servings each week, I relied on the frozen steel-cut oatmeal from Trader Joe’s and still think of these packages as an emergency option to have in the freezer.

steel cut oatmeal

We runners need our complex carbohydrates and oatmeal is at the top of my list. The Trader Joe’s frozen blocks of steel-cut oatmeal (2 per pack) are delicious and flavored with a hint of maple brown sugar yet the stats per bowl remain decent in the nutritional department.

steelcut oatmeal nutrition

Rice Medley

The frozen convenience and quality of this complex carb makes the Rice Medley a staple in my freezer.

rice medleyI love the texture of brown rice and often heat up a bag in a pinch for quick and easy weeknight stir fry or power bowl which are both great options as dinner the night before a run.

Of course you can make your own  rice on the stove but why? For $2.99, you can keep it on hand in your freezer, ready to go when you want it. There’s a few servings per bag and if you don’t use it all up at once, it stores well in the refrigerator too.


I love the Trader Joe’s raisins, especially the jumbo, and often enjoy them as my long run fuel in place traditional packaged runner fuel-type snacks like GU and gels.


 Raisins offer a quick burst of energy due to their natural sugar content and are easily digestible (at least for me) so long as you don’t eat the entire bag because let’s be real, they can be addicting.

Other ways to enjoy these raisins:

With oatmeal or cereal

In a trail mix

With a handle of chocolate chips

Oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies 

Oatmeal raisin protein cookies

Frozen fruit

My freezer contains frozen fruit year round. I love the Trader Joe’s frozen fruit because of the price (cheap compared to other stores) and its versatility in my runner diet.

frozen fruit

I enjoy the frozen blueberries, frozen pineapple and my favorite Very Cherry Berry Blend in smoothies, oatmeal and sometimes, straight from the freezer.

I get really thirsty from sweating so much that sometimes just water won’t do the trick. A few bites of frozen fruit from the freezer will hit the spot!

Did you know that frozen fruit offers us the same healthy benefits as fresh fruit because the fruit is frozen at peak ripeness?

Jelly Beans

When I don’t feel like raisins during my long runs, I do choose jelly beans, Trader Joe’s jelly beans.

jelly beans

Trader Joe’s jelly beans serve the same purpose to me as the packaged runner sport beans but are made without the artificial colors and preservatives. I place a handful of the jelly beans in my pants pocket and enjoy them around mile 6 during races and long runs.

Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter with Flax & Chia Seeds

Is there a runner alive who doesn’t love peanut butter?

peanut butter

This Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter with Flax & Chia Seeds has become my absolute favorite in terms of taste, texture and satisfaction.

I enjoy it in my pre-run bowl of oatmeal, with my daily diced apple, spread on an english muffin and always mix it into my post-run oats in a jar.

Peanut Butter provides us runners with the healthy fats necessary to satisfy our appetites and this peanut butter in particular contains the flax and chia seeds which gives us our omega-3 fatty acids too.

What are some of your Trader Joe’s favorites?

What are some food staples that you keep on hand?

Thanks to Meredith for sharing that helpful information! I can’t wait to make my next trip to TJ’s and try some of these items. 

Be sure to check back here on Thursday for another great guest post!


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34 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s Favorites For Runners {Guest Post}

  1. Great suggestions Meredith! I definitely stock up on all of these. I also get my tart cherry juice from TJ’s..helps so much with post-run soreness. I also love their coconut water! It tastes so good and is really cheap.

  2. I absolutely love Trader Joe’s! Cookie Butter is a staple in my pantry! I must grab a few frozen steel cut oatmeal boxes for quick morning breakfast! I shop once a month at TJs and stock up because the store is over an hour away from me! Enjoy your vacation:)
    Kara {MaineGirl2Runs} recently posted…Beach2Beacon Race RecapMy Profile

  3. I love TJ’s, I just hate that there is not a location in my neighborhood in NYC. I can walk to the one on the Upper West Side and take a bus back to just a few blocks from my apartment, but it takes almost 40 minutes for that bus to go a mile so I hesitate to buy the frozen goodies especially in summer. I love their frozen veggie blends and awesome prices for fish and fresh fruit and veggies (and PB! And dark chocolate PB cups. And other stuff I shouldn’t eat like I do :) )
    Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl recently posted…Easy Greek-Style Summer SaladMy Profile

  4. Ahhh you guys seriously have all the good stuff in the States! That peanut butter looks amazing. We just don’t have the same selection that you guys do down there. Rawr. Great post Meredeth and enjoy the rest of your vacation, Lisa!
    Suzy recently posted…A Tall OrderMy Profile

  5. I guess cookie butter wouldn’t make the list haha my TJ’s staples are the rosemary balsamic grilled chicken (I go through 3 packs a week), sesame sticks, and the chocolate caramel wedges. I do 99% of my shopping there though so that’s where I get most of my veggies from, but I guess I could theoretically get them from anywhere. It’s the best grocery store and totally worth the 25 minute drive for me.
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Weekends are for…My Profile

    • I get all my veggies there too now. I’ll need to look out for that chicken- sounds really good!

  6. I wish I was able to go to TJ’s more often, but it’s pretty far from where I live now. I love that PB, as well as cookie butter! I also love love love their ravioli/toretellini and it is much cheaper than it is at a typical grocery store. I just bought their pizza veggie burgers for the first time and they are a new favorite of mine.
    Sam @ See Sam Run recently posted…Race Recap: Wildman Biathlon (Part 1)My Profile

    • I love hearing about all these new TJ faves! I’m gonna end up buying the whole store:)

    • Sorry to hear that. Before I lived near one I didn’t know what I was missing. Now its my go-to grocery store.

  7. I love Trader Joe’s and these recommendations are awesome! The rice medley looks really yummy and I always love their frozen fruit for smoothies. I will definitely try the frozen steel cut oatmeal and jelly beans for long runs. Thanks Meredith! Lisa, have a wonderful vacation!!!
    Natalie recently posted…Weekend Update!My Profile

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