Friday Favorites: The foods I always buy

And just like that, it’s Friday again. The week sure does go by quickly.

Today, my “Friday Favorites” post is all about food. Over the past few weeks, since I started sharing a day of my eats in a regular “What I Ate Wednesday” column, food has become even more of a popular topic on A Lady Goes West.

I’d like to build on that by sharing a few things that I buy every single week, outside of the standard meat and produce. I’ve tried out plenty of brands of all of these items and settled on some favorites.

By the way, Dave and I have been ordering all of our groceries from Safeway via the Instacart delivery service for several months, but we still stop by Trader Joe’s near our apartment every few weeks to load up on the good stuff. So most of these items come from those two grocery stores. Please enjoy …

My favorite tea

I gave up coffee almost two years ago when we moved to San Francisco. Because our stuff, including our coffeemaker, didn’t arrive in the City until two weeks after we did, I grew sick of going downstairs to a coffee shop every morning for my daily cup o’ joe. So I switched to tea that I could make at home, and I’ve never looked back. These days, one big mug of green tea is my caffeinated beverage of choice. I truly don’t miss coffee. This brand, Bigelow Green Tea, is absolutely my favorite to date.

Bigelow green tea

My favorite Greek yogurt

Take it from me, Greek yogurt tastes very different from brand-to-brand. Fage is where it’s at. I use this Greek yogurt in my overnight oats, and I also use it to make little parfaits from time-to-time. But there’s so much more you can do with plain Greek yogurt: put it in smoothies, use it in guacamole and even as a base for baking. It’s not only tasty, but it also has 23 grams of healthy protein in a one-cup serving.

Fage Greek yogurt

The question is … do you know how to pronounce the name?

My favorite trail mix

You can’t beat the nuts and dried snack section at Trader Joe’s. This little mixture, the Oh My Omega Trek Mix, has been my favorite for a while. I love that it comes in pre-portioned individual bags (because you know how easy it is to chow down on too much trail mix). Pistachios, almonds, walnuts, cranberries. Delicious. It makes a great snack on-the-go.

Trader Joes Trail Mix

My favorite oats

I switched to this gluten-free organic rolled oats variety last week, and it’s denser and thicker than the oats I used to buy regularly. While I’m not a gluten-free eater, I like the fact that these oats are made with nothing artificial. No additives here.

Trader Joes Rolled Oat

My favorite cottage cheese

I go with the Safeway brand, two percent variety. Once again, I eat cottage cheese nearly everyday, and this one has the perfect consistency and taste. And yes, there are 26 grams of protein per one-cup serving, which is another great source of protein for my day.

Lucerne Cottage Cheese

My favorite almond butter

Another Trader Joe’s item coming at you. While there are so many expensive almond butter options out there, this one clocks in at just over $5 a jar, which is a steal. I love the color and texture of adding the crunchy. I put a scoop of this in smoothies, slab it on top of a baked sweet potato and sometimes even throw it on top of my overnight oats.

TJs Almond Butter

My favorite almond milk

Milk. While some people are sensitive to dairy, seeing from my list of favorites above, I’m not one of them. I love milk and always have. I started out using regular milk, then I switched to soy, then I switched to organic regular milk, and now for about two years I’ve been an almond milk fan through-and-through. Silk Original is my milk drink of choice. I put it in overnight oats, in smoothies, in my tea and have a glass after dinner for a little treat. I probably go through two cartons a week.

Silk Almond Milk

Truth be told, I’ve read a lot recently about almond milk not having the nutritional benefits that we think. But I love the nutty taste, so I’m not about to give it up yet.

There you have it. A few food items that always make my grocery list.

I’m looking forward to a weekend with a little bit more free-time than the last, in which I attended Kettlebell Athletics training both days. Today and tomorrow, I’ll be teaching a couple of Les Mills group fitness classes and dining at a popular San Francisco restaurant with some friends. I hope you have an excellent Friday!

And of course, every week, this “Friday Favorites” feature is hosted by Heather. If you want to read more, here’s a look at my past editions:

  1. A snack, a purse and a ritual
  2. A delivery, a bra and a guy
  3. A sweet, a wine and a read
  4. A drink, a gadget and a plan 
  5. A time, a bottle and a powder
  6. San Francisco edition
  7. Beauty edition
  8. Beach vacation edition
  9. Hidden meanings
  10. Kicks, a book and a bowl
  11. The very best sweatshirts
  12. Party hosting and froyo
  13. Fourth of July daytime activity
  14. Beauty basics edition
  15. Workplace edition
  16. Shopping, sales and a show

Questions of the day

Did anything exciting happen during your week? What are a few things that you can’t live without in your fridge or pantry?

Ashley signature



  1. Fun post! I LOVE Trader Joe’s trail mixes too and pretty much all their nut butters! 😉 Too funny about the pronouncing Fage … I totally was saying it wrong for so long. Then I finally took a closer look at the container and realized it told you right on there! It’s kinda fun to say…Fa-yay!

  2. Greek yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Almond butter (and peanut butter) and Almond milk are all staples in my grocery list too! I’m right there with you on the TJ’s almond butter. Last week I picked up a box of crackers at Trader Joe’s, and couldn’t stop snacking on the cracker + AB combo. Thank goodness that box is now gone!
    I haven’t tried gluten-free oats before though, that might have to be my next new purchase!

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