Trader Joe’s Favorites

Trader Joe's Favorites

Do you have a favorite Trader Joe’s Product? One thing that makes the trip worth it? Favorite chocolate?

Some of my favorites are unsweetened unsulfered mangoes, Mediterranean hummus, pita bites crackers, and coconut chocolate almonds.

I’ve only been a Trader Joe’s shopper for about 4 years now. They are great for snacks, even if they often fall in the sometimes food category. A friend was told me she’d love to know what other people like to buy there. Why not? Sounds fun! So I blind emailed about 20 people asking what their favorite things were. This is the results! And no. I was not paid for this review or suggestions…it’s just a fun thing to do. Why not carry your camera around at Trader Joe’s!? Haha. Longest Trader Joe’s shopping trip ever! It was worth it.

*Note: things in (….) are comments from contributors.

Produce Section

Trader Joe's Favorites

-Stuffed Bell Peppers (I always feel so good after eating these and they taste like they came out of my kitchen)
-Cilantro Dressing
-Cranberry, Walnut, & Gorgonzola Salad Dressing (also used as a dipping sauce or marinade)
-Field Chopped Salad… 

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Dynamo: John

Dynamo John


Like Thelma and Irvin, I’ve seen John around for a while. His dedication to getting out had already inspired me. I finally had a moment when I could pull over and talk to him. I hadn’t met him before, but knew that he had a story that was going to make a difference. He was very gracious and heard me out as I explained my blog and gave him one of my cards. I hoped that he would contact me when he had gotten home and checked out what I do. He did! We set up an appointment to meet up at our neighborhood coffee house.

I think the biggest thing I walked away with from my conversation with John is sincerity. I think sometimes our assumptions of people get in the way of our opportunity to know them and appreciate them. John was sincere in his answers and interest in what I’m doing here on Carrot Bowl. He is sincere in his relationships. He is sincere in his job and dedication to staying active. He talked about how others have treated him or approached him or even attempted to push his wheelchair without asking. If we want to show sincerity like John, we have to love each other more. We have to believe and trust in each other more.

John is a Dynamo because of his dedication to getting out, even when it’s not ideal – whether that’s weather related or overcoming a physical challenge. You are Dynamo too, like John. You are inspiring more people than you know. We are all moving at different speeds, distances, and with different equipment, but we’re all going together. These interviews are meant to capture the journey, where ever that is right now, and inspire each of us to continue in our own unique journeys.

Dynamo John … 

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Hummus Dressing

Hummus Dressing

I love salads the most when there’s something saucy and wet to glue it all together. Otherwise I feel like I have to chew way too much. Nothing like ending your salad feeling like your jaw needs a massage.

My favorite dressing to top salads with is Hummus + a little extra oomph.


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Dynamo: Shanti

Dynamo Shanti


I had interviewed the pre-natal yoga instructor Amarylis. A while later I received an email from her: “I wanted to pass along a girl’s name that is totally a dynamo- Shanti Sosienski Hodges. She created Hike It Baby a little over a year ago and has been rockin’ out the hikes ever since. It’s even branched out to be national!!!”

Amarylis had gone on a hike with the group, met Shanti, and then directed me to her. I couldn’t be more grateful.

I have now witnessed first-hand the power that Shanti has to create community, inspire others to do things they didn’t know they could do, and to follow her heart vision, even when it’s hard and lonely.

We met up at Cathedral Coffee (I can’t wait to go back!) chatted while her son and nephew bounced around us, then met up with others at Cathedral Park for a newbie Hike it Baby hike. The hike was a meandering 1 mile walk around the park, the perfect intro for people with babies as young as 6 weeks who showed up. I was impressed with the group. The hike lead introduced herself and went over some things like “no mama left behind” – in the case of needing to breast feed, diaper change, etc. Each person introduced themselves, their baby, the age of their baby, and what area of town they lived in. You could then connect with people from the same area to meet up on other occasions if desired. There were about 15 families there and I’m so grateful for the chance I got to feel their energy and care for one another, even with just an initial meeting.

Hike it Baby is doing awesome things to build a community that builds each other.

After the hike Shanti invited me to her home were she told me about the journey of Hike it Baby, her dreams for the future, and her challenges with the whole process.

I think Shanti is Dynamo. Not only is does she get out, but she takes others with her. She works so hard to make a place where people feel comfortable and successful. She is joining the Carrot Bowl Dynamo Community. Each of these people are on a different health journey, but that’s the beauty of it. We are all different. We are each moving at different speeds, distances, and with different equipment, but we’re moving forward with a similar goal. These interviews are meant to capture the journey, where ever that is right now, and inspire each of us to continue in our own unique journeys. You are Dynamo. Shanti is Dynamo.

Dynamo Shanti … 

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How to Hang Gym Rings

How to Hang Gym Rings Recently I looked at our pull up bar and realized that 1) it is annoying to use the pull up bar with all the stuff hanging off of it and 2) for me, the visual space felt cramped. The straps were always hanging down or wrapped around an arm of the treadmill to be out of the way. I needed to figure out how to hang gym rings in a accessible but more seamless way.

I wanted something to hang the rings and swing on where they could be pushed out of the way. This would give more visual space (making it feel bigger) and provide more mat space to work with. Super helpful for the workout sessions I host.

I had this genius idea to mount a pipe to the header beam and then thread our rings and kid swing onto that. When we aren’t using them, they can be slid all the way to our shelves, being stored for the next session. I LOVE IT. The pull up bar is now open for use with this pipe mount on the other side of the garage header beam.

The swing works even better for the kiddos now, they have room to pump. The rings transferred seamlessly. As for the pull up bar…my goal for 2015 is to do 10 pull ups in a row. Time to get to work!

How to Hang Gym Rings … 

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Dynamo: Morgan



This past fall I began practicing yoga largely inspired by instagram. I used to think “yoga” was just incense, incessant chanting, and gentle moving. Where was the challenge or joy in that? While these are sometimes involved in a yoga practice, that is not what yoga is about. And while these things can bring peace and contentment for some, I have found it’s more than this. It’s about spreading compassion. I know it sounds cheesy and maybe you’re already uninterested, but just give me a moment more.

Yoga is hard. It takes balance and strength and patience. It takes flexibility. All of these things feed energy directly to your daily life. In yoga, you move with your breathing. If we keep breathing in our every days, we keep moving. Some days need more deep breaths than others, yoga can help you find that balance. The soul of yoga is turning fear to love, hate to compassion, and being filled with kindness. We learn to judge less and love more – others and ourselves. To sit still and live in the moment. This very moment is a gift we’ve been given. I love this mindset. I hope everyone is inspired to practice yoga. I hope you all know how much I love you.

So while yoga looks all physical…the real stuff is happening inside.

For this Dynamo, she is centered, beautiful in every description of the word, strong, and full of compassion for others. She is a yogi. I’m excited to introduce Morgan to you! I’ve been following Morgan’s journey on instagram for a while now and reached out to her for this interview (she’s from Kentucky!). She works hard, she loves hard, and she’ll remind you to drop the comparisons and live in the NOW.

Morgan is joining the community of Dynamos. Each of these people are on a different journey and that’s the beauty of it. We are all different. We are each moving at different speeds, distances, and with different equipment, but we’re all headed the same direction. These interviews are meant to capture the journey, where ever that is right now, and inspire each of us to continue in our own unique journeys. You are Dynamo. Meet Morgan…

IMG_4607 … 

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