Shop, Plan, and Prep

Healthy Shopping

Spending an hour or so at the beginning of the week to shop for and prepare healthy food choices is critical to staying on track for the entire week.

When grocery shopping:

  • Take your list with you — we’ve provided a good one below.
  • Take your re-usable grocery bags  — let’s help make the planet healthier too. 🙂
  • Stick to the “perimeters” of the grocery store.  While some processed items do lurk here — bakery goods, lunchmeats, sugary yogurts —in general the perimeter is where the whole foods (produce, meat and dairy) are kept because they are perishable and it’s more convenient for the grocer to regularly restock them.
  • Avoid the center isles where the processed food (e.g., a packaged, cream filled snack-cake) can sit on a shelf in the middle of the store for ages and not go bad.
  • Have an attack plan in mind (e.g., some healthy meals you’re planning for the week) when shopping.
  • Try not to go grocery shopping while you’re hungry. Quick-grab processed temptations tend to find their way in your cart when you’ve got a grumbling stomach.


Here are some of our favorite food picks (and some preparation tips) to help you plan your beginning-of-the-week grocery store run, and get a jump start on your healthy week of eating.

Of course, these foods are just examples:  you can swap out proteins, vegetables and fruits, as well as adjust quantities based on your family’s size, calorie needs, food preferences, and any dietary restrictions.  Use our Food Exchange Charts for ideas.

Shop and Prep for a Week of Healthy Eating

Shop for and prepare (as indicated) at the beginning of the week:

  • 4-5 chicken breasts – grill in advance
  • A turkey breast – oven roast
  • A head of broccoli – cut into snack-size pieces
  • A stalk of celery – cut into snack-size pieces
  • Oats – cook 1 cup in advance
  • Brown rice and Quinoa — Cook 1 cup of each in advance

  In addition to the above items, consider shopping for and/or having the following on hand:

  • Tilapia or Cod
  • Ahi Tuna steaks
  • Flank Steak
  • Canned Tuna
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Plain Low Fat Greek Yogurt
  • Green leafy lettuce like Spinach or Romaine
  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
  • Squash/Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Red Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Red Peppers
  • Mango and Guava (or other fruits if these are not available)
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Berries
  • Pears
  • Lemons & Limes
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes or Yams
  • Nuts, such as macadamia, almonds, pecans, walnuts
  • Olive Oil and/or Coconut Oil
  • Butter
  • Vinegar, Spices, Mustard
  • Low Fat Milk
  • Plain Low Fat Yogurt
  • Almond Milk

Click Here to view a printable version of this Shop and Prep List


Once you’ve gone shopping, you’re ready to plan out your healthy week of eating… check out our Healthy Eating Week sample for guidance.