Nutritionist in the Kitch Essential Grocery List! (Downloadable!)

Taken at the most amazing grocery market in Amsterdam!


So today I’m going to tell you exactly what I get when I go grocery shopping…well, not exactly, BUT I’ve compiled every food that is almost always in my fridge or pantry (and if it’s not, I’m on my way to the store to get more!).

I eat all of these foods on a regular basis, and truly not much else (you might actually be surprised at how small the list is)! Of course, I have a few other products here and there that I eat on occasion, or some that I use for baking- but most of the food I eat (especially now being in the midst of our 12-week challenge) does not come in box or package with an ingredients list – with the exception of those I included in the grocery list!

Check it out – or even print it off and use it as a guideline for yourself! Scroll further to see other items I commonly use but I don’t consider “essentials”!

Nutritionist in the Kitch Essential Grocery List

*The items in the list with a little (*) beside them I always make sure to buy organic as they are part of the “dirty dozen” meaning they are often very high in pesticide residues! 

To get an even better understanding of my essential grocery list, here are some principles I follow when it comes to what I allow (or don’t allow) to make a home in my fridge or cupboards.

1. If the food can be grown, picked, and eaten just like that (or with some slight cooking.. I’ve never tried a raw potato, but I can’t imagine it tastes that great) it’s likely something I’ll eat! In other words, all fresh fruits and vegetables are a GO for me! I may not be a huge fan of brussel sprouts or cauliflower but I will still eat them!

2. When it comes to meat products, I like them to be fresh and unprocessed (no deli meats or boxed meat products, no frozen pre-made meat items, period.), preferably local and organic, and humanely raised. That is ideal. (In my freezer I have some meat/fish/prawns, of which I had originally bought fresh then I portion them myself and toss them in the freezer).

3. Dairy products I also prefer to be organic, low in fat, and plain – no flavored yogurt here! (that’s called Sugar-ville!)

 4. When it comes to packaged products – it has to be pretty close to it’s original state, as unprocessed as possible, and only with a few ingredients (typically under 5 on the ingredients list) – i.e. Mary’s Gone Crackers, dried noodles, rice, or Natural Peanut/Almond Butter.

5. Red Flags – any item with the following in the ingredients list is a big no-no for me; sugar (yup, the plain old white stuff – it’s horrible!), tatrazine or anything with a color and number (i.e. blue #2, yellow #2G) (these are all artificial colorants/dyes), sodium nitrate/sodium nitrite (these are a known carcinogen, yet still in many food products!), mannitol, sorbitol, monosodium glutamate, disodium guanylate, disodium isolate, benzoyl peroxide (yes, they put this in food… seriously, I know!), aspartame, BHA, BHT, propyle gallate…. the list goes on, but those are ones I can think of right now – really, if the product is full of names I can’t pronounce, I don’t eat it.


Here is a list of other common foods/products that end up in my shopping cart but I wouldn’t consider “essentials” per se, because I don’t use them on a daily basis – but I still like them!

-Brown rice crackers
-Brown rice cakes
-Dijon mustard
-Pure maple syrup
-Steel cut oats/rolled oats (plain!)
-Mary’s Gone Crackers
-Part-Skim Mozzarella (or buffalo mozzarella)
-Hummus (again, minimal ingredients on the list)
-Organic white tortilla chips
-Whole wheat pastry flour, rice flour, spelt flour, coconut flour
-Coconut palm sugar
-Pure Cocoa Powder
-Unsweetened coconut
-Canned stewed, diced, crushed tomatoes
(I look for those with low sodium and natural preservatives)
-Organic goat/feta cheese
-Salmon lox (nitrate free)
-Dried fruit (unsweetened)
– Organic unsalted butter
-Agave nectar

I may have missed a few things but I think you should get the gist!

For the most part, I eat clean, not crap, and my body thanks me for it! 🙂

When I don’t eat clean, on very, very rare occasions (like in the summer when I let myself get an ice-cream drumstick or at Easter those little cream eggs… because they are a weakness of mine) I almost always feel like CRAP after – so it’s not really worth it. Call me weird but I just don’t like to feel like crap from willingly putting crap non-food into my belly! (“CRAP”… doesn’t even seem like a word anymore… weird, I hate it when that happens.)


Anywhooo, have a great day!


Nutritionist in the Kitch

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

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  • Love it! It’s true. I used to crave crap. But since I’ve taken most of the crap out of my regular diet I feel like crap when I eat the crap! 😉 Now I actually crave the good stuff instead of the bad stuff. 🙂

    • Yup! It’s usually the way it works – your body telling you … “Ummm hello!? I don’t think so, not this stuff again!!”

  • Very nice list!!! I think if I lived in a bigger center I would definetly get more organic foods. I try the best that I can living in a small community, but we are lucky to have an organic vegetable grower up here as well as locally grown range free chickens and eggs. I think many moms struggle with getting their young ones to eat some of the more healthful foods as well as keeping to a budget. Do you have any tips on saving money on organic and specialty foods? as well as some more sneaky ways to get kiddos to eat this good stuff? The whoopie pies are on my “to do” list. 🙂 Thanks Christal.

    • Hey Roselyn! That’s wonderful to have local producers you can get food from! I try to get to the farmers market here when I can! Luckily there are ways to sneak the good stuff into kiddie meals like putting veggies in fruit smoothies (spinach is undetectable when combined with fruit!), cut up veggies mixed into casseroles or pasta dishes, especially in sauces, you can load them with veggies! Most kids will have some fruits that they prefer, so offering those up all the time as snacks is good! Making homemade fruit bars, pita pizzas, tortilla rolls, and food that your kid can also get involved in the making is great! I LOVE this blog – – is FULL of ideas on healthy snacks for kids that don’t include the processed junk! As for saving money – a few tips are to buy in bulk and avoid packaging, cook and prepare in quantity (i.e. slow cooker meals!), stock up on sale items when you see them, shop on Saturday evenings and Monday mornings when there are usually more mark downs on produce and meat at the grocery store, and don’t fall for the taste testers and advertised items, they are usually never on special!

    • Hey Nichola! There’s a few! I do a lot of my grocery shopping at Save-On-Foods because I like their produce! Meat I most often get from Planet Organic, and other little special items that you can’t get at other stores (I also love their deli!) – I like Bulk Barn for baking ingredients, and I always get fresh seafood from Billingsgate! 🙂