When you first start out on a healthy diet full of fresh foods, you may have to make a meal plan each week and create a grocery list based on it… and that might sound like a lot of work!
Relax, it will get easier as you become more acclimated to eating this way. I am at the point now that I can get groceries for the week without making a plan or a list (and without experiencing food spoilage or waste), but it’s just because after doing it long enough, I’ve basically memorized what I need (and also where items are located in the store). I also keep my needs simple (and costs low) by implementing a few basic standards:
Dry goods – beans, brown rice, lentils, oatmeal – and frozen produce can be bought in bulk to supply for a month or more. So as long as you have these at home, you don’t have to think about them when out shopping, except to count on them as the base for your fresh food meals.
I already know what my favorite fruits and vegetables are – the ones I eat every day. I try to buy organic as much as possible, and load up my basket with the fresh ingredients that, together with the dry goods I already have at home, will make up my meals and snacks for the week.
|Breakfast Ingredients||Can be made into:|
|Oatmeal with fruit, yogurt with fruit, smoothies (using frozen bananas), fruit bowl.|
|Lunch/Snack Ingredients||Can be made into:|
|Red lettuce |
|Salads, veggies and dip platter, sandwiches, wraps, guacamole.|
|Dinner Ingredients||Can be made into:|
|Red pepper |
Yukon gold potatoes
Local in-season produce (such as asparagus)
|Asian-flavored stir fry, yellow curry zoodle bowl, Alfredo zoodle bowl, Herbes de Provence stir fry, vegan loaded baked potatoes, sweet potato curry, farmer’s market (asparagus) rice salad.|
Also, it’s important to store these properly, or you might end up making a second trip for fresh produce later in the week.
I also pickup a few refrigerator and pantry items. I avoid animal dairy products, which is reflected in the nut-based dairy alternatives below.
- Chai or other herbal tea
- Macademia vanilla creamer
- Almond yogurt
- Almond butter
- Cashew cheese (used as a base for a veggie dip or salad dressing)
- Hummus or baba ganouj
- Gluten-free wraps
- Coconut aminos (soy sauce alternative)
- Coconut milk (canned)
- Herbs or spices such as garlic powder
- Olive oil
And that’s pretty much it! Grocery shopping can be quick, easy and inexpensive, even when eating a healthy diet. The main thing is to make your meals from scratch and not resort to prepared junk foods. The more you eat this way, the more you will like it and it will become the new normal to you.