Fitness and healthy eating can sometimes seem like a mysterious art. What does “lean” meat really mean anyway? Are all carbs created equal? Is all produce good for you? Plus, when you’re making complicated healthy recipes your grocery bill can add up quick.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I took a poll of all the fit girls in our office to see what their grocery lists looked like, and I found out that all of their grocery lists looked pretty much identical. It turns out that fit girls have some common staples, and now I’m passing their lists on to you!
Check it out: here’s a list of 50 staple items that fit girls always have on their healthy grocery lists, and a breakdown of each major food category. (Skip to the end to get the free, downloadable grocery list!)
While fruit is actually considered a carb, it deserves its own category. Fruit makes a great snack or dessert when your sweet tooth is calling. Fruit is also a great mix-in for your protein shakes to help make them a balanced pre- or post-workout meal.
Unlike other carbs, such as oats, fruit is a great grab and take-anywhere snack. And just like vegetables, fruit contains tons of nutritious vitamins and minerals! Also, a lot of fruits are very hydrating and full of water.
Fruit is sweet, flavorful, and full of healthy and energizing sugars, plus fiber to give you a boost of sustained energy. To make your serving of fruit a complete snack, pair it with some yogurt, beef jerky, or cottage cheese.
Fruit can also be pretty versatile. When it’s hot out and you’re craving a frozen sweet treat, pop a bag of grapes into the freezer for no sugar added, mess-free popsicle bites. You could also try turning frozen bananas into “ice cream” like this (you might want to leave out the Oreos though).
Here are our must-have fruits:
30. Frozen Berries
Veggies are a fit girl’s best friend! If you’ve taken my 15 Day Fit Body Challenge, you know just how true that is! (If you haven’t taken my 15 Day Fit Body Challenge, you totally should. Here’s a link: http://www.idealfit.com/15-day-fit-body-challenge.list) If you have a specific goal, sticking to a strict meal plan can be a great way to achieve that goal, whether you’re trying to put on muscle, take off fat, or both.
But that means you can’t go back for seconds just because you’re still feeling hungry. An extra scoop of rice or an extra serving of chicken on the daily can keep you from achieving your goals. As the saying goes, “Abs are made in the kitchen!”
That’s why veggies are so essential. Not only are they packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals but they’re filling, delicious, and best of all, low in calories. There’s no reason to go hungry when you can pack your meal with vegetables.
Not only do veggies add bulk to your meal, they also add variety and make great anytime snacks. Instead of munching on pretzel sticks, munch on celery sticks.
Here are our must-have veggies:
19. Bell Peppers
23. Leafy Greens
You might be used to hearing that you should get plenty of “lean” meat and protein, but what the heck qualifies as “lean?” Lean meat is meat that has 10% or less fat. Most grocery stores will include the percentage right on the label of ground meats, but not necessarily on whole cuts of meat.
Boneless skinless chicken breast, white fish, and turkey breast are all safe bets. Chicken breasts are not a fatty cut of meat to begin with, and when you take off the skin they’re extremely lean with only 2.5g of fat per serving.
Another great way to up your protein intake is with a protein supplement like IdealLean Protein. We love IdealLean protein. Not only does it taste amazing, it’s pure protein! It doesn’t contain any fat, sugar, or carbs. You really can’t get any leaner than that.
Protein is extremely important for building lean muscle, getting stronger, and reaching your fitness goals. Fit girls include protein with every meal, even snacks! Beef jerky is a really convenient way to take tasty protein with you anywhere, no cooking required.
Here are our must-haves from the protein department:
2. Turkey Breast
3. Lean Ground Turkey
4. Albacore Tuna
5. IdealLean Protein
6. Low Fat Beef Jerky
(Learn how to incorporate protein into your diet to get the lean, toned body you want when you join Trainer Lindsey’s 15 Day Fit Body Challenge! Click the banner below to sign up.)
The dairy section is not off limits when it comes to a healthy grocery list. In fact, low fat dairy provides a plethora of benefits. Cottage cheese and greek yogurt are both shockingly high in protein. 1 serving of greek yogurt (170g) almost has as much protein as a 4oz serving of chicken. And a 1 cup serving of cottage cheese has even more than a 4oz serving of chicken if you can believe it!
Even better is the fact that you can make your yogurt or cottage cheese into a sweet treat by adding fruit or honey. Or you can go the other direction and blend your cottage cheese with fresh salsa to make a creamy salsa dip for your veggies.
Of course not everything in the dairy section is actually dairy. Unsweetened almond milk is a must! It’s a great base for your protein shakes and smoothies because it gives you the same creamy texture as milk without as many calories. It’s definitely a step up from a water-based shake too. Your taste buds will thank you.
Here are our dairy department must-haves:
34. String Cheese
35. Greek Yogurt
36. Cottage Cheese
37.Unsweetened Almond Milk
38. Egg Whites
Not all carbs are created equal. Sad, I know, but true. Wonder Bread, cinnamon rolls, and white baguettes are on the “no” list, at least for everyday eating. That’s not to say sinfully delicious dinner rolls can’t make it onto your treat meal plate. But sugary white breads are definitely not on a fit girl’s healthy grocery list.
Luckily, there are other carbs in the world besides white bread. “Good” carbs are ones that are not heavily refined. They contain a lot of fiber and are complex. These types of carbs take longer to break down inside your body. Your blood sugar won’t spike and you’ll feel fuller longer because they won’t turn to sugar as quickly.
While gluten-free isn’t a major concern for the fit girls I surveyed, you’ll notice that a lot of the carbs on this list don’t contain gluten. Gluten-free carbs are simply a side effect of gravitating towards carbs that are complex and less refined.
Here are our must-have carbs:
7. Kashi Frozen Waffles
8. Whole Wheat Tortillas
9. Cream of Wheat/Rice
10. Ezekiel Bread
12. Multi Grain Cheerios
13. Brown Rice
16. Rice Cakes
Snacks and Extras
The most surprising absolute must-have on our fit girl’s healthy grocery list has to be… PICKLES! Pickles are tangy, salty, crunchy, and flavorful, but just like the veggies they were made from, they’re low in calories, making them the perfect healthy snack. Of course pickled cucumbers aren’t the only pickle out there. Pickled peppers, pickled cauliflower, and pickled okra are all favorites.
You also don’t want to forget your healthy cooking oils. Coconut oil and olive oil are two flavorful and healthy favorites. They are both considered healthy fats because of their composition. Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, especially lauric acid. Olive oil also contains fatty acids, specifically omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Because olive oil is so healthy, Trainer Lindsey only uses olive oil mayo.
Spices and seasonings are one of the most overlooked extras on this list and can make a big impact on your ability to stick to healthy eating. If food is flavorless and bland it can be really hard to keep eating it. There are a variety of blends and flavor combinations available in the spice aisle of your grocery store.
Check out the popcorn section for Kernel Season’s popcorn (and everything else) seasoning. Kernel Season’s has a wide variety of zero-calorie, flavor-packed seasonings that are good on just about anything. They even have a ranch-flavored powder that you can use as a salad dressing substitute.
Here are our must-have snacks and extras:
40. Pickled Okra
42. Peanut Butter
45. Balsamic Vinegar
46. Cooking Spray
47. Coconut Oil
48. Olive Oil
49. Olive Oil Mayo
50. Arctic Zero Ice Cream
Fit Girl’s Healthy Grocery List Wrap Up
Healthy eating might seem like a mystery, but it’s not a secret! Lean meat, complex carbs, fresh fruit, and veggies: these are all foods that you’ll find on a fit girl’s grocery list, and now they’ll be on your grocery list too!
To get the lean, toned body you want your nutrition has to be on point! Calculating your macros, planning your meals, and putting together the perfect grocery list will help you get the body that you’ve always dreamed of. Your nutrition can get pretty complex. Let Trainer Lindsey do all the hard work for you!
Trainer Lindsey’s 6 Week Fit Body Challenge has everything you need: meal plans tailored to fit your goals, fat burning workouts, and done for you grocery lists! Getting fit has never been so simple.
P.S. Because I love you and want to make your life easier, there’s a copy of IdealFit’s healthy grocery list below, that you can save to your phone or print out and take with you to the store! Click the list below to download your healthy grocery list.
And because I don’t like to rely on meat for all of my sources of protein, I love IdealLean Protein. It is formulated for women, to help them reach their fit goals, and tastes delicious. Click on the banner below to pick up some of your own.