Suggestions for a Healthy Grocery Shopping List & Meal Planning

Eat Clean Recommendations:

Proteins

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Tuna (water packed), or White Meat Chicken (water packed)
  • Fish (tilapia, cod, halibut, and on occasion salmon and sea bass)
  • Shrimp
  • Extra Lean Ground Beef or Ground Round (92-96%)
  • Buffalo steak (lean)
  • Protein Powder (lactose free)
  • Egg Whites or Eggs
  • Rib eye Steaks or Roast
  • Top Round Steaks or Roast (aka Stew Meat, London Broil, Stir Fry)
  • Top Sirloin (aka Sirloin Top Butt)
  • Beef Tenderloin (aka Filet, Filet Mignon)
  • Top Loin (NY Strip Steak)
  • Flank Steak (Sir Fry, Fajita)
  • Eye of Round (Cube Meat, Stew Meat, Bottom Round , 96% Lean Ground Round)
  • Extra Lean Ground turkey, Turkey Breast Slices or cutlets (fresh meat, not deli cuts)

Complex Carbs

  • Oatmeal (Old Fashioned or Quick Oats)
  • Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
  • Beans (pinto, black, kidney)
  • Oat Bran Cereal (watch sugar, less than 6 grams)
  • Brown Rice
  • Ezekiel Bread (frozen healthy section of Kroger’s or Whole Foods)
  • Farina (Cream of Wheat from box)
  • Multigrain Hot Cereal
  • Pasta (Whole Wheat, Ezekiel brand – watch serving, very dense)
  • Rice (jasmine, basmati, Arborio, wild, brown)
  • Potatoes (red, baking, new)
  • Kashi Low Sugar Cereals (less than 6 grams of sugar)
  • Whole Wheat Pita (Low Carb Variety – Joseph’s Pita Bread, or Food for Life brand)
  • Carbdown Flatbread (Wal-Mart)
  • Corn Tortillas (Food for Life Brand is best, microwave to make crispy)
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas (Food for Life brand)
  • Rice Cakes (lightly salted only)

Fibrous Carbs & Vegetables (Fresh first, frozen second, canned last choice)

  • Green Leafy Lettuce (Green Leaf, Red, Leaf, Romaine)/Bagged Salad
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • String Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Spinach
  • Bell Peppers
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Pickles
  • Cabbage
  • Sprouts
  • Cucumber
  • Green or Red Pepper
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash (my fav)
  • Pumpkin

Fruit

  • Berries (blueberries and raspberries)
  • Lemons or Limes
  • Melons (not watermelon)
  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Dates
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Eat bananas, strawberries, peaches or plums sparingly (lots of natural sugar)
  • No dried fruits, including raisins (loaded with sugar)

Healthy Fats

  • Natural Style or Organic Peanut Butter, even better, Peanut Wonder (Whole Foods Market)
  • Olive Oil or Safflower Oil
  • Nuts (peanuts, almonds)
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Avocado
  • Coconut Oil

Dairy & Eggs

  • Low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese
  • Eggs
  • Low or Non-Fat Milk (eat dairy only occasionally)
  • Non-fat yogurt (look for low sugar only)
  • Fat-free String Cheese
  • Fat-free Cream Cheese

Beverages

  • Bottled Water
  • Iced Tea (decaf)
  • Coffee (decaf)
  • Diet Soda
  • Crystal Light or Wal-Mart Brand Sugar-Free Drink Mixes

Condiments & Misc.

  • Fat-free Mayonnaise (on occasion)
  • Ketchup (Heinz One Carb brand only)
  • Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Reduced Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Balsamic or Raspberry Vinaigrette (Farm Grove)
  • Salsa or Fresh Pico De Gallo
  • Splenda
  • Steak Sauce
  • Sugar-free or low-carb Ketchup
  • Sugar Free Maple Syrup
  • Sugar Free Jelly (Polaner or Smuckers)
  • Chili Paste
  • Tomato Paste (low sugar)
  • Mustard (yellow or Dijon)
  • Extracts (vanilla, almond, etc)
  • Low Sodium fat-free beef or fat-free chicken broth
  • Plain or reduced sodium tomatoes sauce, puree, paste (look for low sugar)
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Fat-free cooking spray
  • Sugar-free applesauce for baking

Herbs & Spices

  • Chili powder
  • Mrs. Dash (all varieties)
  • McCormick’s (all varieties)
  • Butter Buds
  • Cinnamon
  • Allspice
  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dill
  • Ginger
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Paprika
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Curry Powder
  • Red Pepper
  • Marjoram
  • Tarragon
  • Dry Mustard
  • Cumin
  • Saffron
  • Nutmeg
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Black Pepper

PLANNING

A BIG key to success is having a PLAN!  Think about it… You wouldn’t start your day, go on vacation or show up to a job interview without a plan, right? I used to eat on the go and grab food on the fly.  Guess where that got me?  I was 20lbs heavier and feeling crappy about my body.  Think of meal prep and packing your cooler as your plan for a healthier life!  Your biggest obstacle is going to be managing your time so that getting fit and healthy doesn’t compete with the rest of your commitments, like taking care of the kids, your quality time with your spouse, or catching up with friends and family.

Believe it or not, prioritizing and planning ahead with actually make your life A LOT easier.  It may seem trivial but I promise that it will be worth it.  Having everything ready and packed will be less stressful than leaving your meal choices up to chance and heading to whatever you can get your hands when you get hungry.

HELPFUL TIPS:

TIME: Schedule time on the weekends to buy and prepare your food for the week. A little time in the store and kitchen on Sunday means for the rest of the week you can just grab and go, but instead out of your cooler, not from a convenience store or food cart.  It may take a few weeks to get a great routine down, but once you see the results… You will be hooked!

If you are on the go a lot, pack Cook Free Snacks: raw almonds, protein powder, low-fat string cheese, chopped veggies, fruit, Ezekiel bread, hummus etc. You can keep little zip lock baggies of almonds in your car so you ALWAYS have something to grab.

CONVIENENCE:  Get yourself a cooler. There are several stores that sell amazing coolers to fit your snacks perfectly. I always take them with me and I always pack 1 extra snack than I really need.  Pack it the night before… Grab and Go!!

COST: Sometimes people will give me excuses about the cost of eating healthy. The fact of the matter is, I spend less money now than I did before when I was buying processed crap. I know it’s not just in my head because I track my finances on Mint.com (the most amazing site ever). But even if it did cost more, aren’t you worth the investment?  NO EXCUSES!

EATING:  What and when should you eat?  That’s the key right there… you need to eat!  If you starve yourself or even if you unknowingly are not consuming enough food, your body will go into starvation mode and hang onto fat for dear life. It might sound counter-intuitive but you need to eat to lose!

CALORIES: Calories are not all created equally. You cannot consume 1900 calories of ice cream and 1900 calories of chicken/rice/veggies and expect to get the same result. Your body needs all of the essential building blocks to keep you body functioning properly and give you energy!

This meal plan is by far one of my absolute favorites. It’s about 1900 calories, 210g of carbs, 216 g of protein.  For me, it’s a lot of food!  It keeps me full, energized and completely satisfied all day long!

Meal 1

  • 8 eggs whites
  • 1 cup of oatmeal OR 2 slices of whole-wheat toast
  • 1 banana or small apple
  • Glass of Lemon Water (cleanses you naturally)

Meal 2

  • 6 oz. chicken
  • 1-cup brown rice

Meal 3

  • 6 oz. chicken
  • 1 sweet potato
  • Unlimited Green beans or spinach

Meal 4 

  • Shakeology

Meal 5

  • 6 oz. chicken
  • 1/2-cup brown rice
  • Unlimited Greens

Meal 6

  • Casein Shake

So I’m not one of those freaks of nature that can eat the same thing everyday for weeks on end and be perfectly happy. I like the consistency and being able to have something I can look forward to, but I get the desire for variety. For example, I’m counting down right now until I get to have my Shakeology, but today I’m going to mix up my recipe so I’m not having the same shake I had yesterday.

I want you to know because you are following a meal plan doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up!  The most important thing to remember is to customize it to YOU! Your level of activity, tastes, and how your body reacts to certain foods might be totally different.  Do me a favor and listen to your body and make adjustments as needed. Develop a plan that you can stick to, so it will be easier for you to develop the mindset that this isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. Find what you love, figure you what you’re capable of and develop a strong plan that sets you up for success.

You’re almost there.  Review the food list I provided, develop a weekly plan using the template provided below.  Go shopping, stick to the outer edges of the store. Buy REAL food that fuels your body the way you need it to. Once you start seeing results, the planning will get easier, eating healthier will get easier, life will get easier and you’ll love your new lifestyle.

Additional information to help you:  

  1. “Recipes”
  2. “Grocery Shopping Tips”
  3. “Beware of Food Labels”
  4. “Tips To Know What You’re Buying”
  5. “Gluten-free Tips”
  6. “How to Cook Your Food Tips”
  7. “My Kitchen”

Other helpful tips:

How & When To Eat Which Foods & Why

It is very important, to know what kind of food is great or not good in the morning, before or after a workout or before going to bed. The time of the day does matter when it comes to eating.

Pre-Workout Meal Foods 

A pre-workout meal for example can be very different than a post-workout meal. For example, it’s ok to have good fats before a workout, but absolutely not immediately after a workout.

Good fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, fish oils or flax seed oil are good as they slow down the digestion and nutrient uptake in addition to providing you with Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) that not only provide multiple health benefits but also help you lose fat and gain muscle tone.

Post-Workout Meal Foods 

However, immediately after a workout, you need to replenish your body with protein and some higher glycemic (fast released) carbs. So you don’t need good fats to slow down the uptake of the nutrients as your body needs carbohydrates and proteins as fast as possible!

Morning And Evening Time Meal Foods 

It’s good to have medium carbs and medium-high protein in the morning, while it’s better to have medium-high protein and none-very low simple carbs in the evening before going to bed.

Low good fats can be ok before going to bed, but absolutely not for breakfast. This is because, at night you don’t need energy, since you’ll be going to bed soon. The energy you don’t burn gets stored as fat! Carbohydrates and good fats give you energy but because at night you don’t need them, it is best to reserve them for the morning time and the other times I just described above.

You are What You Eat

You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” There is a good point being made there. Imagine eating a little something in the morning, grab a snack later, have a sandwich at lunch, whatever you can find nearby in your lunch break, to snack a little until dinner, after which a few bites here and there won’t be left out before going to bed. This way, there is no thought about the right food at the right time, the right preparation, quantities, etc.

There is no real plan about what to eat when. It is not under control. If you follow such a haphazard plan, then I guarantee you that your body will not be under your control.

Apply This Knowledge!

It always takes some knowledge, willpower and discipline to know what you want and actually do it too. Now that you know some of the important knowledge to achieve the body of your dreams, it’s up to you to add willpower and discipline in the mix, to have those results you desire.