“Grocery Cheat Sheet”
Today I’d like to break down a typical weekly grocery list. I live 8 blocks and a 3 flight walk up from my grocery store. As you can imagine, I only really do a big grocery trip once a week. (Side note: it’s a great arm workout, although I don’t really recommend it).
With that said, I buy what I can carry, but there are some essentials I can’t leave behind.
I’d love to say that I make it to the farmer’s market every week, but that’s sadly not the case. I work until 2pm on Saturday and the farmer’s market is a half an hour in one direction and home is another hour in the opposite direction. If I throw some lunch into the mix, this amounts to not getting home until about 5pm. There goes my whole Saturday and in New York, I’ll be carrying all the bounty on my back (thank you very much… you build a strong back bone here figuratively and literally, sigh). So I usually opt to go to the “local” organic market on my way home and cut about 2 ½ hours from my trip and an infinite number of blocks carrying the food.
All this to say, I still make it a priority to buy healthy food so that when I eat, I am nourished, not just fed.
Here’s what a typical pantry stocking list looks like for me in the fall/winter. Please remember this is just what I do in the hope that it inspires you. You can feel free to use it as a template, but it is in no way a dietary recommendation. It is also my favorite flavors, you can feel free to add or delete from this list to make it your own. It’s a good place to get started.
As you move through the grocery store, be sure to read ALL labels. Things are constantly changing at food companies in terms of packaging, ingredients, and in food labeling, so be safe and continue to read labels, EVEN on brands you think you know well. (I ALWAYS have to remind my mom of this when she buys stuff like “mango salsa” instead of tomato salsa because the packaging looked the same and she didn’t read the label. I LOVE YOU MOM!)
*Indicates items that should be stored on the COUNTERTOP (NOT IN THE FRIDGE)
From the Produce Section:
Greens (I always buy at least 2 from this category…it depends on what’s fresh or what I’m tired of eating):
Juicing Essentials/Soup ingredients (all of these are requirements every week for me):
*Lemons (these cross over to “salad stuff”, so I usually buy at least 10 or more)
Ginger (I don’t love it and mostly buy it for my husband. It’s a great anti-inflammatant)
Salad Stuff ( all of these are essential every week, unless tomatoes are not fresh looking then I substitute beets):
*Cherry Tomatoes (I typically buy these because they keep the best all year round)
*Avocados (I usually buy at least 5 with 2 ripe and 3 unripe. I put the unripe ones in a brown paper bag and set on the windowsill in the sun to ripen during the week)
Root Vegetables/Squashes (Remember this is a fall grocery list). In the fall I consider the sweet potatoes and Butternut essential, the others I rotate by what’s available at the grocery store:
Sweet Potatoes ( I usually buy at least 5 and I immediately cook half for the week, and leave half to snack on raw during the week)
Butternut Squash (I buy it whole and prep it myself. It’s cheaper.)
Spaghetti Squash (Again, I buy it whole.)
Side Dish Veggies ( I usually buy at least 2 from this list, depending on what I can carry and what my weekly menus look like):
From the inside aisles, NOT produce (Many of these items (not all) are found at local organic, natural food markets, rather than supermarkets. They won’t be found at places like Stop & Shop, but you could request them):
Canned/Jarred goods (buy as needed):
Canned “Wild Planet” Tuna fish. Packed in water. No salt added.
Canned “Wild Planet” Salmon. Packed in water. No salt added.
“Amy’s” medium tomato salsa (no sugar added, no vinegar and it tastes good)
“Rao’s” marinara sauce (sshhh…don’t tell Mama)…no sugar in this guy either and it’s close to
Mama Norige’s (my mama)
“Jovial” brand jarred Organic “Crushed tomatoes” (Jarred tomatoes are superior to canned for
their lack of BPA and soy in packaging)
“Bionaturae” organic tomato paste
Canned Full Fat Coconut Milk (make sure the ingredient list says: coconut. NOTHING ELSE)
Organic Vegetable Broth (make sure the ingredients are all vegetables and spices. NOTHING ELSE)
Freezer Section ( I usually buy 2 to 3 bags of berries/week and the rest when needed):
Frozen organic berries (mixed/ blueberry/raspberry/strawberry).I buy frozen for the fall as they are the not in season and they will be cheaper and fresher frozen. The juices of the berries also melt to become sort of a natural “syrup”. Yum!
Frozen “Ezekial” brand Sprouted corn tortillas (sprouted grains are easiest to digest, which is why I buy these)
Various frozen veggies (broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, peas)
Meat/Chicken/Eggs/Dairy (as needed):
Organic/free range/grass fed hen EGGS from a local farm ( I know it’s obnoxious sounding, but it’s the healthiest way to consume eggs)
Dry Goods (as needed):
Organic Popcorn kernels (mostly for my husband in the air popper or occasional stovetop pop in oil)
“Eden” brand 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles. I use this as my pasta. (Make sure the label
reads “Whole buckwheat flour”. NOTHING ELSE. Despite the name, buckwheat is gluten free)
“Jovial” brand brown rice pasta. Any shape you like. (My husband likes spaghetti)
Organic Whole grain Quinoa
Fats/Vinegar (as needed):
*Grass fed Ghee (This is butter with the hard to digest proteins removed. It’s easier to digest,
especially if you have lactose intolerance like me, and it’s healthier for you)
Virgin Coconut Oil
Refined coconut oil (This is best for frying, like when I make tortilla chips out of the frozen
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Be careful which brand you buy. It MUST have a harvest date and a “best by” date to be 100% pure olive oil. If it doesn’t, it likely has other oils mixed in…like petroleum..yum) I like “California Olive Ranch” brand. This should NEVER be heated as it spoils all the healthful properties.
Apple Cider Vinegar (This a great tonic internally or externally)
Teas (as needed):
Tazo “Zen” Green Tea
Yogi Tea “Detox” tea
Yerba Mate “Mate Chocolatte”
Harney & Sons “Cinnamon” Tea
Sweeteners (as needed):
Organic Maple Syrup
Organic Coconut Sugar
Baking Aisle (as needed):
Organic Vanilla Extract (not vanilla flavoring)
Organic Almond extract
Organic Peppermint Oil
Organic Aluminum free Cocoa powder
“Enjoy Life” brand Soy, dairy, and nut free 69% Dark Chocolate Chips
Organic unsweetened shredded coconut
Organic Coconut Flour
Organic Almond Flour
Organic Tapioca Flour or Arrowroot Flour (They can interchange)
Xanthum gum (Not the best for you, but sometimes essential in gluten free baking)
Spices (as needed and all should be organic):
Cloves (these first 4 are great for lending a sweet flavor to food without adding any sugar)
Turmeric (great for anti-inflammation)
Iodized Sea Salt
Herbs de Provence
Nuts/Seeds (as needed/always buy soaked and/or sprouted OR soak and sprout yourself before consuming for ease of digestion and absorption):
Walnuts (great source of Omega 3s)
Almonds (great source of Calcium)
*Blue Mountain Organics brand of nut butter soaks the nuts before blending. I love the European Almond Butter, Pecan butter, Walnut butter, and Hazelnut butter.
Condiments (as needed):
Ketchup (Still looking for a no sugar option. I’m tinkering with making my own)
Mustard ( look for one with no sugar and no vinegar)
Coconut Aminos (a great replacement for soy sauce that is soy free)
Additional items (as needed):
Dairy free pre/probiotic capsules (You know it’s beneficial if it needs to be refrigerated)
Spirulina Powder (It’s seaweed and I add it to my green juices. This helps draw toxic metals from your system)
I hope this gives you a jumping off point for stocking your full proof healthy pantry. When you are fully loaded and prepared, you will be less likely to eat out and/or to cheat on yourself with poor food choices. You will also be more likely to make a healthy snack than to mindlessly unwrap one.
Enjoy and let me know what you would add to the list. Thanks!
(One of my market trips pictured below.)