Picture This


It’s 2pm after a satisfying, albeit too heavy, lunch. Your belly’s full and the office starts to get a little warm. The computer screen begins to haze over as your eyelids droop and the hand guiding your mouse becomes heavier and heavier. Soon your head begins to bob, and before you know…zzzzzz

Ever have one of those afternoons?

Yeah, me too. Except “one of those afternoons” lasted the entire day today!

I packed 5 mini meals to eat throughout the morning and afternoon which kept me in a constant state of feeling pleasantly full:

  • 7am: Total Raisin Bran + unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • 9am: 1/2 a cantaloupe
  • 11am: Quinoa Salad (which is ah-mazing as leftovers)
  • 1pm: Bing cherries
  • 3pm: Apple

Factor in the blazing heat that washed over my desk all day from the window I sit in front of, the oddly soothing tick-tick-tick of the clock on the wall, and an already sleep deprived me from waking up at 3:45am Tuesday morning and never getting back to sleep – and I had to squint to stay awake all day.

Thank goodness for Trader Joe’s Night! Pre-cooked BBQ Pulled Pork, a fresh cucumber & tomato salad, and corn off the cob was ready in under 15 minutes with seriously minimal effort. Like!


Me and Trader Joes’ BBQ Pulled Pork have been eyeing each other from afar for a couple of weeks now.


I have a thing for pulled pork, you see, but something held me back from putting it into my cart week after week, visit after visit.


Maybe it’s because I love my own Pulled Pork recipe so much that I don’t really want to give others a chance. I know, that’s selfish.


I have been having a wicked craving for BBQ ever since we went to that festival a few weeks ago though, so I finally said screw it – and went for it!


The preparation for this BBQ pulled pork couldn’t be easier. In fact it may be the easiest Trader Joe’s meal I’ve made yet.


All you do is empty the pouch of pre-cooked pork into the provided tray and nuke for 2 1/2 minutes. 8O Right?!


I tasted the pork once it was warm and, while the flavor was exceptional – not too sweet, not too smokey, just a little bit spicy (an overall generic BBQ flavor as to please the most people, I’m sure) – it needed a little somethin’ somethin’. Big Daddy to the rescue! :)


Ahhh, there we go!


Perfect texture for pulled pork with no, for lack of a better word, chunks of fat or other suspect items in the mix.


It might be on par with TJ’s Butternut Squash Risotto in the taste department too! Crazy! TJ’s also sells shredded BBQ Beef & Chicken, but I don’t even know if I want to try the other two since I liked this so much. 10/10! :D


On the side I spooned up fresh corn off the cob that was quickly sautéed in a pat of butter and seasoned with salt & pepper.


Claiming the most irresistible corn on the cob in the country (or at least I like to think!) is one of the things I like most about my state. Just like apples though, I prefer to not eat it off the cob/core. Kernels/juice on the face – blech, no thanks.


Luckily it’s really easy to skim the kernels off.


Just prop your shucked corn cob onto a small dish or cup in the middle of a large bowl.


Carefully run a sharp knife down the length of the cob, and the kernels will fall right in.


No toothpicks needed! :mrgreen:


I sautéed the corn for 3-4 minutes, just to get it warm.


Make SURE you get some freshly cracked black pepper in there. Ben and I both agree that it’s the best compliment to the naturally sweet corn.





I also served a fresh cucumber & tomato salad on the side.


Studded with fresh basil from a friend’s garden (thanks Jamie & Lindsay!) and tossed with leftover Lemon Vinaigrette from last night’s Lemon Chicken Pasta.




In other news, I am joining The Fitnessista’s Summer Shape Up Program!


Each week for four weeks The Fitnessista, Gina, (who just announced she’s pregnant – ahhh!! :) :) :) ) will post a weekly workout plan featuring a weights workout, cardio components and flexibility training suggestions.

I have been dying to step up my weight training game, so I figured I’d be bananas to pass on these great, pre-made workouts. I’m starting mid-week, so tonight I am going to try Workout #1. I’m excited! :D


Is anyone else participating in the Summer Shape Up Program?

Alllrighty, off I go. Workout #1 shall be followed by a mini champ cone, then snooooozeville. Head meeting squishy pillow can’t come fast enough!

See ya’!



What time do you go to bed each night? When do you wake up?

I’m usually in bed by 9:30 or 9:45. Lights are OUT by 10 so I can be up by 5:05am to walk with my Mom before a 6:30am start time at work!

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  1. Isn’t that the quintessential summer meal?! BBQ, corn, fresh veggies – perfection!

  2. I TRY to get to bed by ten each night — but most of the time that just doesn’t happen :) Thank you for the response on the BBQ sauce last time — I am checking it out right now!!!

    p.s. You’re plate looks preeettyyy :)

  3. Oh that looks good. And I’m happy to report I FINALLY found the butternut squash risotto at my Trader Joe’s last night. I’m super stoked to try it just based on your review. :)

  4. Although I try to stay away from pre=packaged meals/meats, you’re making a killer case for that pork! YUM!

  5. I’m totally getting TJ’s pulled pork next time I’m there. You just made me have a huggge craving for it!

  6. mary e 06.08.2011

    i’m attempting a modified version of her summer shape-up! i’m 14 weeks ahead of her pregnancy-wise and teach ballet all day, so jumping or knee-killing squats for this gal. glad to have a follow along with you!

  7. mary e 06.08.2011

    *NO jumping. stupid brain!

  8. Ryah 06.08.2011

    I usually go to bed at 10 on school nights in order to wake up by 6:3. But even on non-school nights I tend to go to bed earlier. I’m a pretty bad college kid when it comes to staying up all night. ;)

  9. Emily 06.08.2011

    I’ve gone through so many stages of wake up/go to bed times. But right now, being as that I am a recent college grad and still looking of employment (some company, somewhere, please have mercy!), I am enjoying sleeping until my body wakes up! I know this treat won’t last too long…

  10. Melissa 06.08.2011

    I try to get to bed around the same time and will feel so sleepy that I can’t keep my eyes open. When I turn out the light, though, I can’t sleep! Beyond frustrating!

  11. Brynne 06.08.2011

    I LOVE PULLED PORK! And corn – but ON the cob! Um and I did the first workout yesterday – modified – and I am SO SORE!

  12. I’m impressed you can get ready and go on a walk with your mom in 1.5 hours!

    Now that I am not teaching, I am in bed by 10:30 p.m. and up between 6:30/7 a.m. During the school year it is 9:30 p.m./5:30 a.m.

  13. Trader Joe’s should hire you! Seriously. Every time you have TJ’s night, your photos + descriptions make me want to pay my local Joe’s a visit :D

  14. Melanie 06.08.2011

    My fiance wants to share that he has tried Big Daddy’s BBQ sauce but recommends that you and Ben try the BBQ sauce from Battle’s BBQ, a little shop on Welch Ave. in Ames, which he thinks is better. :) However, once they have BBQ sauce in, it sells out quickly, so sometimes you have to order in advance!

  15. i usually go to bed between 10-11 and get up between 6-7…just depending on the day. :) dinner looks delish!

  16. mollie 06.08.2011

    I did the same thing at work today! Couldn’t keep my eyes open this afternoon.
    I also have the same obsession with pulled pork. Hickory park saucy southerner is the best! We just went up there on Sat night! Yum!

  17. Kate 06.08.2011

    This meal looks so good! Corn on (off) the cob and BBQ pork are two of my favorite things. I so wish we had a TJ’s nearby, the closest is 2.5 hours away! Next time, I’m bringing a cooler.

  18. Kaycie 06.08.2011

    My summer shape up is Supreme 90. I did p90x early this year, borrowed from a friend, and did it as much as I could, hard to fit in 1- 11/2 hrs everyday when you have a 1 yr old. But 4-5 days a week I usually could. I discovered Supreme 90 at BedBath&Beyond. It’s an “as seen on tv” deal. It is the same concept – but only 35-45minutes, just as effective, and WAY cheaper!
    I go to bed about 930ish and up at 515a the days I work and 6a the days I dont.

  19. Kristin from MN 06.08.2011

    Ooooh I love pulled pork! I wish we had a TJ’s nearby cuz I would go buy that stuff tomorrow! Schwans has a similar product that is FAB. I’m gonna have to get some from my schwans guy when he stops. I go to bed by 10 and then read until 11, and I get up at 7 to be at work at 8. I HATE getting up early and love staying up late – I wish I would grow out of that! But I’m 29 so I’m thinking I never will. :(

  20. Nancy 06.08.2011

    6:30 start time, yikes! Why so early?? You are a trooper for putting in those kind of hours.

  21. Lindsey 06.08.2011

    I hate days like that! I know I have had a few lately where by 3pm I swear I could fall right asleep at my desk.

    I have incorporated the Summer Shape Up workouts into my weekly plan, I have done some of her workouts in the past and always love them!

    I typically go to bed at 10:30pm and wake up between 5:30-6:30am depending on the day.

  22. Rachel 06.08.2011

    Bedtime is usually 9:30/10, and I’m up by 5 during the week. On weekends, if I’m lucky, I can sleep in till 6:30.

  23. Bridget 06.08.2011

    I’d love to take part in the summer shape up program. I might start after my marathon on 6/18. I’m doing Grandma’s Marathon again and I’m excited! However, I need to change it up for a while and take a break from so many miles. I try to get into bed around 10:30/10:45 and I’m up at 7 am. Summer hours are awesome at our house! If the kids are in school it changes drastically~this is why I heart summer!

  24. Yes, I’m taking part in Gina’s shape up. I love doing her circuit workouts throughout the year. They pack a punch in a short amount of time. I’ve been doing either a Jillian No More Trouble Zones dvd, a Fitnessista circuit or my own choice circuit 3 days a week now for about 6 weeks. Just trying to get these arms ready for summa time!

  25. Hope 06.09.2011

    I love taking corn off the cob and eating it that way! I’ve never put it in a pan before and seasoned it. I will have to try that! :)

    I usually go to bed around 10pm. I get up at 5am too. It’s rough!

  26. Emily 06.09.2011

    Love Trader Joes – and fresh corn off the cob. Nothing is better than corn in the summa-time.

    I’m in bed around 8:30pm during the week (I read until about 9pm) and then I’m up at 4:24am to hit the gym. It’s not fun some mornings – but I’ve never regretted a workout!

  27. It’s so weird, but Central Florida does not have a Trader Joe’s! I mean if Maple Grove, MN has one…Orlando, FL should definitely have one! :) Jealous!

  28. Julie S. 06.09.2011

    I have to eat my corn & apples the same way! :) It’s just those 2 things, but I really can’t stand to eat either of them “as is”.

    I am in bed by 10 & up at 6. I typically aim for 8hrs but can get by on 7. How long is your mom walk? Amazed that you squeeze that in & are at work by 6:30!

  29. Tracy 06.09.2011

    How did you print the Summer Shape Workout #1 with exercise descriptions? Did you type it up?

  30. Mac 06.09.2011

    I usually go to bed at midnight and get up between 7 and 8 am. I must have missed the Fitnessita’s post on this when I was gone… I am going to have to check out the summer challenge! Good luck!

  31. Ashley 06.09.2011

    I really try my hardest to be in bed by 10:30. Some night I stay up until 11 due to a 10 o’clock TV show, but 10:30 is what I shoot for.

    Good luck with the summer challenge. Have fun!

  32. Daisy 06.09.2011

    you go to bed so early! (and wake up so early.) you have a great routine down. I am so the opposite – bed at 11 – 11:30, but now my wakeup time is even earlier since I’m doing summer flex hours. (same as your year round schedule!) I need to get to bed way earlier!!

  33. AJ 06.09.2011

    I normally go to bed around 10:30-11, but often have issues falling asleep. I get up at 5:30 a.m. to work out. Need more sleep!!

  34. Michael Novotny 06.09.2011

    I have feasted on this BBQ pulled pork from Trader Joe’s and it is indeed exceptional. I would highly recommend!

  35. I go to bed and wake up at all kinds of different hours because I’m in college. I would like to get more steady with it though.. once I get back from europe! :)

  36. Wow you are an early riser! I wish I could get to bed earlier, but I usually don’t get home until 10. So I’m usually in bed at about 12. Then I wake up at 6:30 to workout. I’m also usually tired :-). That bbq looks delish!

  37. I always crack up at the ‘parallels’ of both of our lives…and had to laugh when I had that pulled pork in my hands yesterday at TJ’s :) Can’t wait to try it!

  38. Lizette 06.09.2011

    for lunch yesterday I had the trader joes bbq chicken for 140 calories a serving and LOVE IT.

  39. gina (fitnessista) 06.09.2011

    that meal looks fantastic :)
    so glad you’re joining in the shape up fun!

  40. TJ’s hardly EVER dissapoints!

  41. I love your BBQ sauce – it’s hilarious! I’m always in bed by 10. Ideally 9:45, but realistically 10 or 10:15 for my 4:55 am wake up call!

  42. Natalie 06.10.2011

    I saw the Summer Shape Up the other day and am going to do my best to incorporate the workouts into my routine. Did workout #1 on Tueday and LOVED it!!!

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