If you’re a health-conscious Muslimah with the task of planning meals for the entire family, an organized grocery list is a must for you. Whether you’re cooking for one or you have a family full of mouths to feed, keeping the right foods in the house isn’t always easy.
Have you ever gone shopping and ended up buying foods that you really didn’t need? Or maybe you’ve spent what felt like hours in the grocery store, only to get home and realize you forgot the most essential items. Ever regret buying that tub of Nutella because now you can’t stop eating it!?
A healthy and organized grocery list is your answer to these problems. When you take the time to plan out what you need in the house, you will spend less time (and probably less money) in the grocery store.
It will also help you stick to your healthy eating plan. A wholesome grocery list contributes to a full and healthily stocked kitchen, that way there is no room for excuses!
With these tips, you can build a healthy grocery list in a matter of minutes. It’s organized to follow the general set-up of the grocery store, so you’ll be in and out in no time.
(Be sure to stick through to the end for a downloadable grocery list and meal planner).
Fruit is a great grab-and-go snack that you can take anywhere you go. Fruit also contains natural sweetness, so it’s perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.
Delicious, refreshing and full of fiber, fruit aids in healthy digestion and metabolism. It also contains tons of nutritious vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Many fruits are also super hydrating and full of water.
The best part about fruit is it’s so versatile: blend it up to make a smoothie, add it to a protein shake, use it to top off your morning oatmeal, or use frozen bananas to make “ice cream” (also known as ‘nice cream’)!
Try this recipe for deliciously healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Nice Cream!
Here are some fruits to add to your grocery list:
Veggies are an absolute MUST. Lots and lots of them!
Not only are vegetables packed with vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients, but they’re super low in calories. Talk about getting the biggest bang for your buck!
There is no need for portion control when it comes to non-starchy veggies. Because they are so nutritious, so low in calories, and often have high water content, you can eat as many as you want!
Read this article by SF Gate to learn more about starchy versus non-starchy vegetables.
Not only are vegetables perfect for bulking up meals, but like fruits, you can use them in a lot of different ways. Use them as a side dish, throw them in your soup, put them in your eggs, add them to a casserole, you can even sneak them into your smoothies!
Are you not a fan of vegetables? Don’t worry! Cook them in some olive oil or grass-fed butter, and they’ll taste so delicious that you’ll actually crave them!
Here are some veggies to add to your grocery list:
- Leafy greens
- Brussels sprouts
- Bell peppers
- Carrot sticks
Bread & Other Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates, such as the ‘white foods’ (e.g., white bread, white rice, white pasta and white flour) are generally low in nutritional value and deprived of their natural fiber. These are the types of carbs that should be limited.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, haven’t gone through that refining process. They are very nutrient-dense and provide an excellent source of energy for your body. Think things like whole-grains, beans, legumes and starchy vegetables like potatoes.
Here are some carb options to add to your grocery list:
- Whole-grain bread
- Whole-grain pasta
- Brown rice
- Oats (not instant)
Meat & Seafood
Protein plays a crucial role in many biological processes. Many parts of the body contain protein including your muscles, skin, hair, nails, and blood.
Suffice it to say; protein is an essential nutrient. It’s what helps us to build and maintain muscle and other organs and tissues.
Meat and seafood are both excellent sources of protein and are known as complete proteins, as they contain all of the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) that we need on a daily basis.
While I do recommend a lower-meat diet, good-quality halal meat can be a great addition to a mostly plant-based diet.
Unfortunately, not all halal meat is trustworthy. Do your research and be sure you are buying clean and sustainably-raised meat.
Here are some great meat/seafood options to add to your grocery list:
- Meat – poultry, beef, lamb
- Fish – choose low mercury fish like wild salmon, tilapia or sardines
- Canned salmon
Dairy & Eggs
The dairy section contains lots of options for snacks. Dairy products are high in protein, vitamin C and vitamin D, which makes it great for bone health.
When choosing things like yogurt, just be sure to stick with plain, as flavored varieties tend to be loaded with added sugars. You can sweeten yogurt yourself by adding a little honey, vanilla flavoring, and fresh fruit toppings!
If you’re vegan or dairy-free, don’t worry this section may still be of use to you. In the dairy section, you can find things like nut-based milk and lactose-free yogurt options.
Here are some great dairy options to add to your grocery list:
- Farm-fresh eggs
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Cheese sticks
- Non-dairy milk – unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk
- Grass-fed butter
We all love snacks, but they can pose difficulty when grocery shopping as they may be loaded with added sugars, sodium, and artificial ingredients.
If you’re a snack-lover like me, don’t worry there are some healthy options for us!
Here are some great snacks to add to your grocery list:
- Rice cakes
- Whole grain crackers
- KIND Bars
- Dark chocolate chips
- Coconut flakes
Extras (Spices/Oils/Condiments/Baking Needs)
We can’t forget about cooking essentials like spices, cooking oils, condiments and my favorite, sweeteners. These are all things that are going to flavor your dishes, which is key to a healthy eating plan.
Here are some great “extras” to add to your grocery list:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- All natural peanut butter or almond butter
- Spices and seasonings
- Raw apple cider vinegar
- Raw honey
- Pure maple syrup
- Coconut sugar
The frozen food section is not necessarily off limits. Yes, you want to stay away from frozen pizzas and pre-made dinners. But some frozen foods can be a great addition to a healthy kitchen.
I recommend keeping certain frozen items in the house for a few reasons:
- Since fresh veggies don’t last very long, frozen vegetables can be an excellent backup option for when you run out, this way you never have an excuse to skip your veggies!
- Frozen fruit blends are perfect for making smoothies and healthy ice cream.
- Frozen veggies are often a better option than fresh if you’re buying out-of-season. Because frozen veggies are picked and frozen at the peak of freshness, they retain more nutrients than fresh out-of-season vegetables (1).
- Frozen meat and seafood can be handy when you run out of other protein options in the house.
Here are some great frozen items to add to your grocery list:
- Fruits (especially mixed blends for smoothies)
Healthy Muslimah’s Grocery List: Wrap Up
Remember, the foods you keep in your house are the foods you will eat. Writing out an organized grocery list will ensure you keep all of the right foods in the house. As a bonus, you’ll be in and out of the grocery store in no time!
To make your life easier, here’s an organized grocery list and meal planner that you can print out and use to write out your weekly groceries! (Click the image to download)
Do you write out a weekly grocery list? If not, are you going to start?