I have said it before and I will say it again (and again and again and again), meal planning and intentional grocery shopping are two of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It's so important to stock your kitchen with healthy, wholesome items so that what you have available is good for your body. For Health and Fitness Friday this week, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my grocery list tips and some of the things that I keep our kitchen stocked with.
At the beginning of each week, I typically sit down and create a meal plan and grocery list for the week. I include what we need for our meals, plus lots of fresh produce. My grocery cart is usually 50% produce and full of color- which I love! When it to fresh items, I usually buy what looks the best and according to what's in season. Refrigerator items like almond milk and Greek yogurt always appear on the weekly list. For freezer and pantry items, I find that it's easiest to keep a magnetic notepad on my fridge so that I can keep track of things as we run out or are close to it. If we open a jar of almond butter, I make sure to write it on my notepad so that I can buy a backup! Many of the staple items in our kitchen not only make for healthy snack options, but also make it possible to whip up dinner on a whim when we have to veer from the meal plan or I just want to make something easier than what's on the list.
I've put together a list of our kitchen staples and foods that are always found in our kitchen. These items are broken down into four categories: FREEZER, FRIDGE, FRESH and PANTRY.
Frozen berries are great, especially when fresh berries are out of season! I find that Trader Joe's has the best prices. I add frozen berries to my protein shakes, greek yogurt or on top of a protein pancake.
Frozen Tilapia & Salmon are a must to keep on hand! I buy most of our other meats fresh but since most fish is delivered to the grocery stores frozen already, this is a no brainer! Frozen fish thaws in minutes and makes for a quick and healthy dinner when roasted with some garlic, lemon & olive oil. All you need is a salad on the side!
Bananas are purchased fresh, and then I let them ripen, peel, break in half and freeze. Again, perfect for smoothies or pop in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir into plain Greek yogurt.
Eggs (Eggland's Best or Trader Joe's Omega-3)
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Greek Yogurt (Fage 2% Total, plain)
Laughing Cow Cheese
Greens are a must! I like to keep a variety on hand so that we can enjoy salads with dinner or for lunch, or throw spinach in a smoothie. Arugula, Kale, Spinach and baby greens are my favorite.
Garlic should go without saying.
Onions are another given. I always have both sweet and red.
Avocados can be used on top of salads, scrambled eggs or just as a snack with a little lime juice and salt. Healthy fats are good for you!
Apples make a great snack with a wedge of Laughing Cow or a smear of almond butter.
Citrus in all forms! Fresh lemons, limes, and oranges freshen up water, marinades, dressings and smoothies.
Berries when they're in season!
Fresh vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus or green beans can be roasted with olive oil and sea salt for healthy dinner sides. Vine ripened tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers are other favorites.
Canned beans to add to salads or make homemade hummus! I like cannelinis and garbanzos.
Almond Meal to use as a healthy substitute to breadcrumbs on chicken, fish and pork.
Nuts to snack on, sprinkle on Greek yogurt or add to salads. They also make a great "crust" on all types of meat when crushed.
Crushed tomatoes (unsalted) can be used in soups or to make quick marinara sauces.
Almond Butter/Peanut Butter does not need an explanation!
Dijon Mustard is something I add frequently to salad dressings and marinades.
Protein Powder so that we always have what we need for morning smoothies!
Dark Chocolate Chips for when the sweet tooth cries out for some love. Just a few of these satisfy a chocolate craving when necessary- the darker the chocolate the better! (at least 60% cacao)
To make planning and shopping easier, there are tons of free menu/grocery planning printables right at our fingertips! Jen's happens to be my favorite and I keep multiple blank copies in my Home Management Binder! Click HERE to download your own copy.
Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!