What's in YOUR Grocery Cart!?

The process of Healthy eating starts IN THE GROCERY STORE.

Monday is grocery shopping day.
I am not the biggest fan of grocery shopping - because of 2 reasons.

#1.  It always takes way longer than it should - I swear I walk around there for at least an hour!
 (( and let me tell you a 2 year old can make for 1 unforgettable hour HA ))

and #2.  I am always forgetting an ingredient...

( which is why I should probably learn to actually TAKE my grocery list that I made to the grocery store instead of leaving it home on the counter :/ )

That all being said,
there is a healthy way to do grocery shopping and a way that will keep the calories to a minimum so you aren't too angry with yourself at the end of the week :)

 I have a few tips and tricks to make that happen.

I usually try to make a menu for the upcoming week Sunday night so I can make my grocery list.
This will help eliminate the "frozen pizza dinners" and / or "fast food" option that so many people resort to on a nightly basis.

For us, one day of the week is usually "left overs" or Eggs ( We keep it classy! HA ) and Friday night is date night and / or pizza night.

So basically I have 3 main MEALS to plan for.

and you are what you eat..

Let's be real here, if I am buying 5 bags of chips... chances are I will eat 5 bags of chips!
If I'm buying excessive cake mixes, I am bound to be making cake for the next week straight.
I will snack on what is laying around in my pantry.
If you don't want to be snacking on it....        SIMPLE-         don't buy it.

I have a really really REALLY hard time wasting food.
Maybe it was just because we kept to a food budget for a little while through law school and I couldn't stand to have something go bad in the fridge!

So if I buy a fridge full of fruit and veggies, I will snack on all things fruit and veggies.

My favorite is buying the HUGE package of spinach from Costco or Sams.
HA I find ways to stick spinach into EVERYTHING just so it doesn't go bad on us.
( that is a lot of spinach for the week for just 2 of us )
Brown Rice, Eggs, Smoothies, Soup, Cooked Veggies I just throw it in with everything...
My husband thinks I go a little overboard with the spinach -

My point being, if you are buying fresh foods, rather than chips and crackers,
you will snack on the fresh foods.
Don't buy something if you don't want yourself eating it.

I think people's biggest downfall when it comes to grocery shopping is buying everything in a box or a bag.
If it's in a box or a bag - it is (generally) PROCESSED food.
There is no way around the fact.
Limit your "box buying" ( AKA cookies, crackers, chips, cereal, granola bars (( as healthy as they may "seem" )) frozen meals, ETC. )

Focus on the produce and COLOR FOODS.
Which brings me to my next point....

90% of your shopping cart should look like a colorful rainbow.

These are some foods that are always found in my shopping cart...

**Berries - one of the best things you can eat.
 I have to have some type of berry every single day.
It will keep you regular and they are GREAT stomach flattening foods.

** Bananas - Although I'm not a fan of them plain,
I try and stick them in my smoothies to get the nutrients - SO GOOD for you.

** Spinach and Lettuce - I say them both because I ALWAYS buy both.
I have found that spinach doesn't have much of a taste - So, like I said earlier, I end up sticking it in everything.
Aaron jokes that I can always find a place for spinach in a meal.

** Avocados - MY FAV!!
I LOVE avocados. Aaron is the guac master and we love anything that has to do with that green stuff!
Although avocados are a fat - they are a healthy fat!
I try and stay away from dressings on sandwiches and salads and use avocados as a replacement.

** Apples - An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
I'm a believer!
No but really, I love apples, one of my favorite snacks!

** Veggies - I usually buy baby carrots and celery each week.
I know I am a health nut, but I have to be honest and say that besides lettuce and spinach, I have a hard time with veggies!
( Especially veggies raw - I like them better cooked! )
That being said, I still try and make buying veggies a priority because if I have them in my fridge, I will eat them.

( Don't be thinking a little head of white iceberg lettuce is doing the trick of your veggie fill for the day )

P.S. Yes, I am totally that mom that wakes her child up and takes him to the grocery store in his PJ's. ^

Check your shopping cart at check out.

Do "I" see the colors of the rainbow?
( And no that does not mean buy a fruit loop box and call it good ;)

How many "BOXES" of processed foods did I buy?

Is there a food in there that I will be mad at myself for eating after I eat it?
( Don't buy the Twinkie, it's not worth it! )

Did I stoop to the level of buying the frozen casserole lasagna dish??
( Don't do it! - SO bad for you!!!! )

Is my cart 90% colorful and fresh!?

P.S. Do not read this and think I deprive my husband and child of fun treats!
Of course I buy a box of fruit-loops, a bag of goldfish, tortilla chips and the occasional Dreyer's Ice Cream.
The point being 90% of my grocery cart is colorful and fresh.
Make that your goal because THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT PART.

Happy HEALTHY grocery shopping and remember your lists..
My husband is convinced I will be 80 years old and finally remember to grab my list ;) XO

Karina Marie Powell


  1. I once read that you should stick.to the outside if the grocery store Isles, because its usually, fruit/veg, meats, breads, dairy.. All the middle Isles are generally processed foods... Its true lol

  2. Grocery shopping with a toddler is like an Olympic event. And, it never helps to have a 2.5 year old seeing cookies, sugary cereal and ice cream, but we do try to add as much color as possible - that's always stuck in my mind while creating a salad or buying veggies. I also heard the above - stick to the outside aisles...they are definitely MUCH better for you (although our store has a whole donut wall on the outside - not fair).

  3. yes yes yes! I have a love/hate relationship with grocery store runs.. but coming home with fresh and raw food makes me happy. Don't get me wrong, so do cookies! but eating better makes me feel better! great post mama!!

  4. totally love & agree with all your tips! grocery shopping has taken me so many years to master, but it's worth the effort to make a good list & shopping run, because that's what you'll eat!
    I know what you mean about the list- gah I hate it when I don't have a list, I spend waaaay too long & forget 2-3 things anyway. I think I found my perfect solution, adapted from what my mom did growing up: instead of having a piece of paper (that gets jumbled in my purse, if it gets there, and then my purse fills up with random peices of paper) I got a mini notebook (like 4x6 in) from the dollar section of Target- it has an elastic so I keep a few coupons in there, too (I never remember to use them otherwise). The notebook stays in my purse & I pull it out to make my list, pull it out at the store, and then can always find it, and don't have little peices of paper showing up in the car, my pocket, the wash ;) Notebook may not be for everyone, but it works for me!

  5. I love #2, it is so true! Eggs and leftovers are ALWAYS on our weekly menu, they are cheap and delish! I make a list and still forget at least one thing, every time I am cooking and yell to Eric, he says, "What did you forget?!"

  6. Would love if you would post a sample meal plan with recipes for a normal week!:)

  7. Karina! This is awesome! Marshall and I are trying so hard to eat better this year, I would love some of your sample meals and recipes to see what your hubby likes eating but is still good for you! Thanks! -Brooke Hall

  8. A great blog post. I keep my shopping list on my phone to be sure that I always have it with me. Wouldn't it be great if I remembered to put all the things on the list too? Well well, maybe someday :)

  9. Karina!! I totally agree! My husband and I just decided to adopt a plant based diet after watching Forks Over Knifes, a documentary we saw on Netflix. The vegan switch has us both feeling so energized and alert with all the veggies and spinach we have been eating and throwing in smoothies. Would love to know your take on the vegan lifestyle with your background in dietitian.

  10. Great post my friend - and we are more alike than I thought! We also meal plan on a Sunday and I grocery shop on a Monday morning. The shopping is my hardest part because there are so many temptations x

  11. love this! inspiration for my grocery trip today. also, have you tried the app wunderlist? you can create a shopping list and multiple people can add to it. so both me and taylor add to the list and it's just on my phone when I go shopping! it took me a little while to get used to that, but now I'm hooked! great post, karina! xoxo

  12. Yes, yes, yes! I think you and I fill our fridge and pantry the SAME way! and Eric used to complain about how much I used our costco spinach... thankfully he's joined me on the health kick (I wish he'd let me do a post because the changes he's made in the last 5 months are amazing!) and no longer complains. But man, that spinach is our best friend ;) ha ha!
    I just bought cereal this week for the first time in.... a long time. It was so painful for me to buy even though it tastes so good! I just don't like to buy it because I totally eat it! Mia sure loved it though... her first bowl of cereal on Sunday, the first time in her life, ha ha! (We totally make up for it in the ice cream department!)

  13. P.S. I've learned to make my grocery list in the notes section of my phone.... I NEVER leave my phone at home ;) so now I always have my list with me!