You may not know what foods to add to your grocery list…

Do your shopping lists always feel confusing or not healthy at all? Do you go grocery shopping and just grab whatever it looks good? Are you looking for a healthier way to eat? Then you need a gameplan.

When you go grocery shopping you should always keep in mind the meals you are going to have throughout the week, either lunch, breakfast or even snacks.

Always keep a meal plan (on the phone or on the fridge) so you don’t over buy food and beverages.

  1. Breakfast Foods

This includes toasts, crackers, yogurts, milk, eggs, peanut butter, bacon, eggs, etc. What do you like to eat for breakfast? Do you enjoy eggs on toast, or do you prefer yogurt and granola? Either one or the other, you should always include this on your list. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it sets you up for good choices throughout it. 

By not skipping breakfast you’ll feel less hungry in the morning, which in turn will prevent you from snacking on something unhealthy from the nearest vending machine later on. Try to make the first meal of the day as healthy and wholesome as you can, in order to help your body have more energy and feel better overall.

 

  1. Canned Goods

If you’re one of those people who don’t have time to buy fresh lentils or beans and cook and store them for later use this is for you. A lot of canned goods are very unhealthy, so I recommend reading all the labels before you decide to put something in your cart. However, when it comes to lentils, beans, peas, corn, etc., I suggest you to try to find good and healthy canned versions of them. These goods are highly versatile and can be an extremely valuable help when trying to cook a meal in a short amount of time. 

Be sure to check the ingredients when shopping so you know what you’re putting in your body. With that said, canned goods are always a good option.

 

  1. Frozen Foods

Just like canned foods, frozen foods are a great option to keep in your home since they can last in the freezer for months on end. I highly recommend you buy frozen ingredients for smoothies or meals, but avoid the purchases of already prepared frozen meals as they usually contain a variety of ingredients considered unhealthy for our bodies. When it comes to ingredients for smoothies, feel free to stock up on berries, exotic fruits, spinach, kale, etc. These are all great choices to use for summer drinks. When we think of meals, I suggest you go for frozen seafood, meat, fish, or if you’re vegan, broccoli and peas. Cooking healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult if you do your shopping right. 

 

  1. Dairy / Dairy Alternatives

Anything from milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, butter, etc., should make its way into your grocery list. Dairy foods contain calcium, which we all know it’s extremely important for our health. However, if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant you should consider dairy alternatives. Even “lactose free” milk has lactose. The only difference is that an enzyme is added to it in order to help your digestive system process it better. 

You should also consider adding dairy goods to your list for the sake of protein. Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and a healthy one too. You can choose to buy yogurt alternatives like soy-based or coconut-based yogurts if you are looking to avoid dairy all together. If you do end up going for the alternatives, then just make sure they are fortified with calcium and vitamins so you don’t miss out on the benefits of this food group.

 

  1. Rice / Pasta / Potatoes

A good source of carbs should always be on your grocery list. When cooking a meal, you should include a source of carbs that can account per at least half your plate. This is especially true if you’re vegan or vegetarian. Carbs are a great energy source. They are fuel for your body. Therefore, you should stock up on them to have something energetic to add to your food. 

However, there are good and bad carbs. When shopping, you should always look for whole grain carbs, which take longer to digest and keep your energy levels steady for longer. This means switching from white rice to brown rice or choosing sweet potatoes instead of regular ones for the increase in nutrients. Remember that this can also include different grains like quinoa, which is a great source of carbs, but, at the same time, a good source of protein. If you’re looking to lose weight, don’t cut out an entire food group like this one, just make the switch to wholesome versions. You’ll have more energy and feel a lot better.

 

  1. Vegetables

This one is a must-have in your kitchen. Vegetables and legumes are one of the most important foods you should buy on a weekly basis. Fresh mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, baby spinach, sweet bell peppers, etc. are a great source of nutrients and vitamins indispensable to our bodies. 

Including these in your grocery list and in your meals can have a tremendous impact on your health. Apart from all the nutrients it provides, vegetables are also a good source of fiber, which in turn can improve your bowel movements, and, more importantly, can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. At the same time, consuming veggies on a regular basis can help in weight management and weight loss, since they’re so low in calories.

Vegetables should always be mandatory when grocery shopping but most of us forget about them. Maybe you don’t particularly enjoy them, however, there are great recipes you can try to change and enhance their flavor. I suggest you research some cool new recipes and try them out.

  1. Fresh Fruit

When planning a grocery shopping trip, ou should always have in consideration snacks and breakfast food. This is where fresh fruit comes to play. Try to add approximately 4 to 5 different varieties of fruits to your grocery list to make sure you are getting a lot of nutrients and vitamins. Just as vegetables, fresh fruit can have overall benefits to your health. In similarity, fruit has a high amount of fiber, which can improve your digestive system and help you sustain your energy levels in ways that unhealthier options could never accomplish. Besides boosting your energy, fruit can also be a great aid in the treatment and prevention of heart disease, diabetes or even cancer. 

Fruit differs from vegetables, mostly due to its high fructose levels, which is a natural sugar present in it. This way it makes for a good option when it comes to breakfast or snacks throughout the day, since these naturally present sugars can give you an energy boost when you need it the most. Fruit is also good for skin care as it can keep your skin hydrated and nourished to its high amounts of water.

 

  1. Snacks and Crackers

This can include energy balls, protein bars, fruit and nut mixes, crackers, dipping sauce, etc. Snacks don’t just have to be fruit. Including a cereal bar into your day can play as a great snack option. The reason this should be added to your grocery list is because you should carry snacks with you at all times. This prevents you from getting too hungry and binge eating on your next big meal. In that sense, having snacks such as nuts, crackers and protein bars, that are easy to carry around with you is a definite must. Try to choose more whole-grain and wholesome snacks to make it a healthier option on a daily basis.

 

  1. Drinks

When it comes to drink, I am a big fan of just water. As we all know, water is the holy grail of beverages. Since our bodies are made of approximately 60% water, giving your body what it needs can help maintain the balance of your bodily fluids. Besides keeping you hydrated, water helps your kidneyswork better. At the same time, water can help you obtain a healthier looking skin. However, when thinking of drinks, that doesn’t just have to mean water. There are plenty of other drinks you should consider adding to your grocery list such as kombucha, tea, caffeinated drinks, etc. Although some of these may not be that healthy, we all need a treat from time to time. 

 

  1. Protein

Last, but not particularly less important, is protein. This can include everything from meat, to poultry, to fish and seafood. Protein is such an important macronutrient to our bodies. It should be stocked up in your fridge/freezer at all times to be used in everyday meals. This dietary component is especially valuable in our nutrition due to it being an essential and structural component of body tissues such as muscle, hair, etc.

If you’re vegan, you can always substitute these foods for tempeh, tofu, seitan, or even just have lentils, chickpeas, hemp seeds, beans, etc. You can also add protein powders to morning smoothies to make sure you are getting your daily dose of protein.

 

If you’re interested in eating healthy check out 5 Easy Healthy Snacks to Carry On The Go1200 Calorie Meal Plan for Weight Loss9 Healthy Winter Comfort Foods.