R.A.W. – Start Here with a Healthy Eating Grocery List

May 9, 2012

Blackberries! In Paleo bar form.

There is a lot of confusion out there in terms of nutrition. All matters of what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, etc. are jumbled, confusing, and contradictory. The overload of information takes away from the eating healthy when that may be your goal in the first place.

And then we’re faced with the question of what to buy to eat lean and healthy. Buying groceries can be confusing when trying to change your lifestyle or even keep on a healthy path.

Raw Zucchini Drop Cookies- Health Fats!

Labels, commercials, and the media certainly don’t help when trying to get on the right healthy track. A lot of packaged foods tend to have buzz words like, “low-fat” or “low carb,” “multi-grain,” that can lead to you think they’re healthy. Be aware, these foods often have added ingredients (sugar, sodium, chemicals) that won’t help get you to your healthy eating goals, and may even put you father behind than where you started.

Raw Pad Thai Bowl - Get your veggie fill

Here are my personal tips when it comes to grocery shopping

Buy locally and buy fresh.

Stick to the outside of the grocery store when shopping. Products that are on the permitting of the store is where the bulk of your shopping cart should come from. Why? Think about it, what really does fill in the middle of most grocery stores? Packaged, processed foods. Fresh, whole foods make up the outside isles of grocery stores, where you can load up on plants (fruits and veggies), (hopefully) grass-fed meats, dried beans or legumes, and bulk bins of nuts and seeds.

It’s not to say that you can’t venture into the middle isles but try and do the majority of cart-filling with fresh, whole foods. Next time you’re at the store, pay attention to where all of the different foods really are located.

Kabocha Smashed Veggie Wrap with Sweet Gingered Mustard Sauce

Buy locally

I prefer to buy my groceries locally and try to avoid the big chain stores as much as possible. The prices may not vary too much and the local produce is usually more nutritious and definitely more fresh. Places like Whole Foods, although a little more expensive for some things, usually carries (or at least offer) product and products that are local to your area. Your best bet and my favorite place to shop is always the local farmers market.

When winter comes along, these stores do have to import some of their produce, but I still find these fruits and veggies much better in quality. A lot of times organic products are available, but at this point I decide if it is a good deal for the money. Going organic is nice but sometimes can be pricey for those who are trying to make their dollar go further.

Shaved Rainbow Salad - Flippin' Amazing.

Buy Fresh

Buy fresh as much as possible, and avoid packaged frozen foods with the exception of plain, frozen fruits and vegetables. Most of the time pre-packaged frozen foods are filled with sodium and other chemicals for preservation purposes. Frozen berries and some greens are convenient and work great when in a pinch.

Paleo Eggs Over Easy Over Meat

Your Grocery List

This is a list that you can keep in your pocket when its time to go grocery shopping.


  • Egg Whites
  • Whole Eggs
  • Chicken Breast
  • Lean Ground Turkey or Chicken
  • Lean Ground Bison
  • Lean Ground Beef (buy only grass-fed)
  • Salmon
  • White Fish
  • Beans (kidney, garbanzo, black beans, etc.)
  • Legumes and lentils

Complex Carbohydrates

  • Oatmeal (Old Fashioned or Steel Cut)
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Brown Rice
  • Brown Rice Pasta
  • Yams
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Potatoes

Fibrous Carbohydrates, Fruits and Vegetables

  • Green Leafy Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Green Beans
  • Spinach
  • Bell Peppers
  • Tomato
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Pumpkin
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Melon
  • Lemons and Limes
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Bananas, Nectarines, Peaches, Plums, Grapes (moderate consumption due to high sugar)

Healthy Fats

  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Natural Nut Butters
  • Coconut Butter
  • Flax Seeds or Flax Oil

Adding some canned items to your pantry is awesome for fast meals. On hand, I usually keep canned tomato sauces, crushed tomatoes, low sodium broths, canned beans, and tuna in the house. Dried beans, legumes, rices, quinoa,  potatoes, nuts and seeds, garlic and onions are also good foods that keep for a while so you can buy these in bulk and have them on hand.

Spices are the... zest of life!

Spices are also wonderful to add to a healthy eating grocery list. Spices can add incredible flavor to foods without adding any extra fat. Some spices I always have around and use often are:

  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ginger Powder
  • Nutritional Yeast (not technically a spice but I use it readily like one)
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Black Peppercorns (in a grinder fresh to grind to each dish)

Mix and match my spices at home to make interesting combinations for my foods. The possibilities with spices literally are endless!


Lentil Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

Healthy eating can be a fun and creative way of life. Be prepared and explore new foods. Enjoy!

Bottom-line: Eat unprocessed and fresh. Enjoy fully what you put into your body. Food should be fuel, use it [deliciously] properly. 🙂

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary@FitandFed July 5, 2012 at 9:57 PM

I like that you included beans and whole grains. The Paleo trend goes overboard when it gets rid of those, IMHO– if you look at “The Paleolithic Prescription,” which was written about 20 years ago and was the first popular book about the paleolithic lifestyle, it did include low-fat diary, grains and beans in its version of paleo. So there’s more than one idea of how to have a healthy diet even within this line of thinking.


Angela Haddad May 15, 2012 at 1:57 AM

Simply…thank you!


amy@healthyhungryhappy.com May 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM

great info lori!! i definitely need to use spices more!


Lori May 10, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Spices are SO good. 🙂


Justine@LifeWithCheeseburgers May 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

This is a delicious list; I wish our cupboards weren’t so empty right now but we’re going on vacation pretty soon so we can’t buy too many groceries!


Trisha May 10, 2012 at 4:18 AM

Great post!!! Spot on!! The spices are crucial to converting the naysayers to healthy eating! Eating clean is so NOT boring!!! Spices really help to change up similar dishes into something totally new ! Great extensive yet simplified list of grocery store buys!

Also. I am now addicted to those blackberry bars. Oh my yum!! I may try to fight someone if they get to close….;-)


Lori May 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

I totally agree that spices play a HUGE role in all cooking- especially getting those “ew… healthy…” people out of their “comfort zone.” Ah- If only some would just TRY eating healthy!


Pure2raw twins May 9, 2012 at 6:41 PM

well said Lori! great tips, we try to buy in season now and locally when we can 🙂


Lori May 10, 2012 at 1:00 PM

It’s hard to because I’m always craving things that aren’t quite in season… but it’s all about the trying. 🙂


Ela May 9, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Great list and great tips! I love that you include spices in the list too–They get forgotten too often. 🙂


Lori May 10, 2012 at 1:00 PM

So true!


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