How to Build a Healthy and Organized Grocery List

July 24, 2017 19 Comments

Planning out meals can be overwhelming, especially when you're trying to eat healthily. A healthy and organized grocery list can make your life much easier.

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 important 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 healthy 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

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.

Fruit is delicious, refreshing and full of fiber which 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
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Melon
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Dates

VEGGIES

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!

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
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrot sticks

BREAD & OTHER CARBOHYDRATES

Carbohydrates can be an excellent source of dietary fiber, which aids in weight loss, healthy digestion, and sustained energy. But, this is only true when choosing the right 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 GREAT CARBS TO ADD TO YOUR GROCERY LIST:
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Oats (not instant)
  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Quinoa
  • Potatoes

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. They are considered 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 created equally. 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
  • Shrimp

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 LIST:
  • Farm-fresh eggs
  • Milk
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cheese sticks
  • Non-dairy milk – unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk
  • Grass-fed butter

SNACKS

We all love snacks, but they can pose difficulty when grocery shopping as they are often 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:
  • Popcorn
  • Rice cakes
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Hummus
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • 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 EXTRA’S 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

FROZEN FOODS

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 awesome 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 produce is 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:
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen fruits (especially mixed blends for smoothies)
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Frozen fish
  • Frozen meat

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)Download a FREE Weekly Grocery List & Meal Planner!

Do you write out a weekly grocery list? If not, are you going to start?

Chelsea Lynn

Chelsea is the founder of Wellness Muslimah. She is a Blogger, Freelance Writer and Nutritionist specializing in Healthy Eating for Weight Loss. She is passionate about healthy, natural living and Islamic Medicine. She wishes to inspire other women to live more natural, healthy and mindful lives for the sake of Allah.

19 Comments

  1. Reply

    Marriam(@foodeva_marsay)

    July 26, 2017

    Wonderful article. Shukran for sharing your insights. I have to admit, I don’t plan my grocery shopping list, but Alhamdulillah have managed to shop for ‘healthy’. Maybe it is easier when it’s shopping for just 2 adults and not for a whole family. This post encourages me to at least try planning a grocery list👌😉

    • Reply

      Chelsea Lynn

      July 26, 2017

      Thanks sis. Yes that’s true, two people isn’t bad. But a grocery list makes it so much easier. Try it sometime and see if it helps, in shaa Allah 😉

  2. Reply

    Fozia S

    July 26, 2017

    JazakAllah Khair for sharing this list of healthy foods to eat. Healthy eating isn’t as hard as some feel….we just need to make a few changes.

    • Reply

      Chelsea Lynn

      July 26, 2017

      Wa iyyakum Fozia. Yes that’s exactly right! It’s very simple once you know the basics!

  3. Reply

    Christal Joan

    July 26, 2017

    I’ve noticed since being more healthy a shopping list is essential! And never shopping on an empty stomach as all those sugary little goodies somehow make it home with me lol.
    Having a good mix of frozen and fresh fruits and veggies always pushes me to eat more than my 5 a day as well. Great post sis masha Allah

    • Reply

      Chelsea Lynn

      July 26, 2017

      Jazak Allah khair sis! And yes omgosh so true about shopping on an empty stomach. That’s a big no no for me or I’ll regret what I buy later lol.

  4. Reply

    Multicultural Motherhood

    July 27, 2017

    A really informative article. I did not know some frozen food could be healthier than fresh. I will bare that in mind next time I go shopping. #MuslimahBloggers

    • Reply

      Chelsea Lynn

      July 30, 2017

      Glad you learned something new hehe ;).

  5. Reply

    Aisha

    July 28, 2017

    I am a picky eater especially with fruits and vegetables. I dont like a lot of them and as an adult, i know better. Well! I have points for popcorn and crackers. Lol. Any tips to eating fruits and vegetables?

    • Reply

      Chelsea Lynn

      July 30, 2017

      I used to not really like vegetables much either. Tips are to not be afraid of FLAVOR. Cook vegetables in butter, olive oil, coconut oil and add your favorite spices. You can mix them into dishes if you really can’t stand them plain. They are great in soups, omelets, frittatas, casseroles, etc. As for fruits, you can try smoothies! Smoothies are also a great place to sneak in some veggies as well. Hope that helps love 😉

  6. Reply

    Carla ~ Tayyib Wellbeing

    July 28, 2017

    I very rarely go grocery shopping without my list! I can’t say I’m too disciplined at always sticking to it though 🙂 This is a great article mashaa Allah, lots of tips on where to start and what staples we need as part of a healthy home! 🙂

    • Reply

      Chelsea Lynn

      July 30, 2017

      Thanks Carla!

  7. Reply

    Iman

    July 29, 2017

    This is so useful! It helps to have suggestions right there for when you’re meal planning and making a grocery list – bookmarking this to use later inshaAllah!

    • Reply

      Chelsea Lynn

      July 30, 2017

      Hehe I’m so glad you found it useful. I know planning and organizing is right up your alley 😉

  8. Reply

    Umme Hafsa

    July 30, 2017

    A really comprehensive list! I definitely need to do this more inshaAllah. I find my struggle with writing out lists is not knowing/ or being creative enough with my list – so I can buy a ton of healthy food but I don’t know what to do with it other than the usual. But I do want to start planning more instead of going with the moment inshaAllah x

    • Reply

      Chelsea Lynn

      July 30, 2017

      Yes it’s so much fun to try doing different things with your food so it stays fun and interesting 😉

  9. Reply

    Zainab Dokrat

    July 31, 2017

    Love this!

  10. Reply

    Zainab Dokrat

    July 31, 2017

    So weird, I was typing my comment and it submitted on accident. I was saying, we are all guilty of walking into a supermarket for a few things and coming out with a whole lot of stuff we didn’t want and usually it’s not healthy food. I love snacking and you best believe I will buy all junk. These are lovely tips to have, shukran for sharing. (www.spicyfusionkitchen.com)

    • Reply

      Chelsea Lynn

      August 3, 2017

      Heheee so true sis I love snacking as well. If I don’t have my list I’ll go crazy in the grocery store. I’m pretty good about not buying junk food but I would totally buy way too much food and spend well over my budget lol!

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