Cambridge Personal Training Ultimate Grocery Shopping List

A grocery shopping post by Cambridge personal training expert Callie Durbrow

How to Grocery Shop the Healthy Way


Hey, I hope you had an awesome weekend. Mine was great, on Friday I got to hang out with one of my best friends and we just hung out and watched Jersey Shore on the DVR (you know you love that show, come on) and then on Saturday it was my cheat day so I had some of my favorite guilty foods….jelly beans (I love sugary candy) and some serious pizza. Before I had all my junk food we took a trip to the grocery store and stocked up on all the healthy eats for the upcoming week.

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That’s our actual grocery cart, notice that there’s a lot of fruit, veggies, protein (chicken and lean grass fed beef), peanut butter, yogurt, almond milk and protein powder (Nick was out of his).

I wanted to give you a couple of tips for really healthy and efficient grocery shopping:

1. Shop once per week and stock up on everything that you need. This helps you avoid unhealthy choices and take-out.

2. Make a list and stick to it

3. Plan what you’re going to buy, what you’re going to cook and when you’re going to eat it

4. Shop the outer edges of the store- Produce, lean meats, dairy, organic foods, nuts and some whole grains should be the staple of your diet. Avoid the inner aisles as those usually contain things like chips, cookies and sugary cereals.

Here’s an awesome grocery list that you can print out and use for your next trip. Check it out:

Grocery Shopping Checklist

Check off the ones you use and keep them well stocked.

You may want to make some copies of this list, add to it, or make your own list to post on your refrigerator.  Remember, by keeping your favorite healthy foods on hand lowers your risk of impulse eating.

Grains & Starches

____Oatmeal (plain rolled oats)

____Cereals (fiber, 3 grams or more per serving, sugar, 5 grams or less per serving)

____Whole wheat or whole grain bagels

____Breads, whole wheat, whole grain

____Pita breads, whole wheat

____Rice, brown, Basmati, Jasmine, Wild rice

____Tortillas, whole wheat

____Pastas (whole wheat and vegetable)

____Potatoes all varieties Baking, Yukon Gold, Red, New, Sweet and Yam

____Dried beans, peas and lentils

____Dried bean soups






____Bell Peppers





____Cole Slaw Mix




____Green Beans


____Lettuce – Romaine, Mixed Greens, Spinach




____Snow Peas




____Frozen vegetables if necessary (canned are higher in sodium)

Tip: The deep dark vibrant vegetables are full of natural vitamins and minerals.


(keep stocked and in reach so it is easy to grab)




____Berries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries





____Melons, cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon








____Canned fruit packed in its own juice or water


Lean Meats, Fish, Poultry

(less than 50% of the calories from fat or 93% lean)


____ Beef Lean Cuts: tenderloin, sirloin, filet, eye of round, flank steak for fajitas

____Longhorn Beef (Lean cuts and ground longhorn compare to turkey breast in fat and cholesterol. Range fed livestock can be purchased that is naturally raised without the assistance of antibiotics and steroid injection)

____ Pork Lean Cuts: tenderloin roasts or butterfly pork chops for fajitas or stir-fry

____ Fish Fresh: sea bass, tuna, swordfish, halibut, tilapia, and trout

(Pond raise fish is freshest, is not exposed to the environmental contaminants of public bodies of water, and does not endanger the species in the wild. If fish smells fishy it is not fresh.)

____Shellfish: (low in fat high in cholesterol for those that need to limit cholesterol)

____Chicken, Turkey, and Poultry: breasts and thighs (boneless/ skinless), filets, tenderloin, Cornish game hens

____Ground Meats: Longhorn beef, round steak, sirloin, veal, pork loin, turkey, chicken, venison or blend of

these.(Have them wrapped in 6 or 8 oz. portions to eat that day or to freeze for later. Thaw for a quick burger, spaghetti dish, taco salad, etc.)

____Wild game: Ostrich, Venison (most wild game is very lean and healthy with the exception of duck which is higher in fat)

____Deli Meats – ham, roast beef, turkey or chicken breast


Remember:  All visible fat should be trimmed to reduce calories and fat.

Note: The leanest cuts of meat are found in the hind and loin of livestock.  The breast is the leanest part of the bird.


Milk Products, Cheese, and Eggs

____ Yogurt, low-fat or nonfat, plain or with fruit

____ Milk 1%, or skim

____Almond Milk (plain, 60 calories)

____ Cheeses, Part-Skim, skim milk or low-fat (50% fat or less per serving) (2% slices melt well on bread, potatoes, vegetables, and pasta)

____Cottage cheese (nonfat, 2%)

____Sour cream, low-fat or nonfat (low-fat or even whole milk yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream)

____Cream cheese, low-fat or fat-free



Canned Goods


____Tuna, chunk light in spring water (wash under clean water and drain before eating)

____Chicken breast in broth

____Black olives for flavor (Use as toppings for pizza, salad, sandwiches, they are a heart healthy fat source)

____Beans – black, chili, kidney, pinto, fat-free refried, garbanzo, lima

____Mexican corn

____Broth – chicken, vegetables and beef – low-sodium

____Broth based soups

____Artichoke Hearts in water

____Pasta Sauce


____Pizza sauce

____Tomato paste/sauce/crushed


Frozen, Convenience, and Snack Foods

____Frozen fruit, no sugar added (peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)

____Nuts-All varieties raw, roasted, shelled or unshelled.  Avoid roasted in oil and salted.

____Non-fat frozen yogurt – Sorbet

____ Low-fat granola

____Bottled waters or sparkling water in glass bottles




Sauces, Condiments, and Oils


____Bar-B-Q sauce (try fruit flavored varieties like Raspberry Chiptole on chicken)

____Broth (chicken, beef, and vegetable)

____ Pickles, dill, sweet, bread and butter, pickled vegetables and relish

____ Salad dressings and mayonnaise, low-fat or nonfat

____ Soy sauce

____ Salsas and Pica de Gallo

____Spaghetti and pasta sauces (use garden varieties and tomato based sauces like onion and garlic, or basil and and avoid sauces with cream base or made with meats and cheeses)

____Mustard – all varieties

____Taco Sauce

____Teriyaki sauce and marinade

____Worcestershire sauce

____Oils, olive, canola, sesame, peanut, avocado. and macadamia nut (different oils can add nutritional value and flavor to food)

Herbs, Seasonings and Spices


(Keep your most commonly used items in stock)


____Herbs-dried basil, cilantro, dill, garlic, oregano, mint, basil, rosemary, etc.)  Easy to grow fresh or if you have access to a store that sells herbs in bulk you can buy a small quantity which is fresher and cheaper than large jars.

____ Seasonings for flavor, seasoned, lemon, or garlic salts and peppers, curries, onion, cumin, mustard powders; poultry seasoning, cayenne or red pepper…

____Spices-All spice, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, saffron….




____ aluminum foil, heavy duty

____ziplock storage containers – all sizes

____plastic wrap

____ziplock baggies – gallon

____ziplock baggies –sandwich

____ziplock baggies –snack



Start using this ultimate Cambridge personal training grocery shopping list right away and let me know how it goes.