A Nutritionist’s Grocery List

| Posted On Jan 21, 2015 | By:

Grocery List ShoppingWhen I meet with my patients in a nutrition counseling session, they often ask me, “So, what do YOU eat?” I tell them about my favorite grocery items, the staples that I purchase week in and week out to use as the base of many of my meals, and they are amazed that eating healthy foods can be so simple.

I thought it would be helpful to expand my list with the help of my nutrition colleagues at Harvard Vanguard, all of whom are registered dietitians, to compile a comprehensive, weekly grocery list to share.

So thanks to all of their contributions and suggestions, here is our combined shopping list, including several helpful tips and simple meal ideas, too!


Helpful Tips


Helpful Tip


Helpful Tips


Helpful Tips


Helpful Tips


Helpful Tip


Helpful Tip


Most of our RDs bring lunch to work each day. Here are some of our typical lunches:

Serving Suggestions



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About Linda Germaine-Miller, RD

Linda Germaine-Miller, RD, joined the Nutrition Department of Harvard Vanguard in 1987 and currently sees patients at our Burlington, Needham and Wellesley practices. She has a strong clinical interest in helping patients with lipid and diabetes management, and she is board-certified by the National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators and the Commission on Dietetic Registration. When she is not working, she enjoys yoga, walking, knitting and reading.


  1. Thank you! This was a very helpful post, not only for myself but for my adult children as well, who are struggling to eat healthy on their own. Perfect timing for those new year resolutions.

    Comment by Denise Reicher on January 23, 2015 at 9:17 am
  2. Thanks for the great information Linda!!

    I am going to print this out for myself and for my daughter.

    I will miss seeing you on Wednesdays!
    Take care,

    Comment by Lisa Brady on January 23, 2015 at 12:17 pm
  3. This is a great reference! Definitely printing and saving this one. Thanks Linda for the post.

    Comment by Abigail Markinac on January 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm
  4. Thanks for these very realistic and practical suggestions! And rotisserie chicken is OK? Yay!

    Comment by Maryellen Howe on February 10, 2015 at 4:16 pm
  5. My favorite thing about the HVMA nutritionists is how positive, supportive, and enthusiastic you all are, rather than scolding or shaming. <> It’s so nice to feel like I have a cheerleader on my side. Thanks for this wonderfully specific and helpful article — I’m heading to Wilson Farms right now!

    Comment by Jennifer Davis-Kay on February 11, 2015 at 12:16 pm
  6. I’d have more confidence in this list if there was an explanation for why certain brand names Only were suggested. I also take exception that there’s no mention or recipes for cooking “from scratch.” I will use Only dried beans when I cook – not canned beans that have preservatives and sodium added. And, it is never healthier to buy bagged salad greens; they are prone to carry listeria and/or other bacteria; ONLY fresh fruits and veggies if you plan to recommend them. I prefer to sacrifice “convenient” for “healthy.” Now, let’s see an “old school” shopping list and from-scratch recipes.

    Comment by L A Graham on February 11, 2015 at 12:35 pm
  7. Thanks so much for your comments, and I applaud your focus on healthy ingredients and healthy cooking! We wrote this blog to help folks get started on a path to healthier choices – a path that it sounds like you’ve followed for some time. Many of the people my colleagues and I see in the office are not always certain how to put together a healthy meal for lunch or dinner and can be overwhelmed by the choices and label claims in the grocery aisle. By suggesting a few brand names (NOT an exhaustive list) and convenient healthy foods, we are trying to make it easier for people to find, purchase, and eat these healthier options. Your point about packaged greens is a good one – people need to be aware of the large “sell-by” date on packaged greens; if you use the greens before the date expires, you will be less likely to run into trouble with bacterial contamination.

    Comment by Harvard Vanguard on February 17, 2015 at 3:51 pm
  8. Why are you pushing Greem yogurt? It has less calcium, and the calcium-rich waste product that’s spun out is hazardous waste. So more money for less nutrition . . .

    Comment by Marcia Peters on February 11, 2015 at 5:07 pm
  9. Many of us favor Greek yogurt because it is such a high protein food, especially for people who ‘eat on the run’ or are looking for healthy options for a snack. Greek yogurt usually contains between 15 and 20 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving, where regular yogurt contains about 9 grams. Eating a higher protein snack may help with increased satiety for weight loss. For patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes, plain Greek yogurt is low in carbohydrates, too, which makes it a good choice.

    Comment by Harvard Vanguard on February 17, 2015 at 3:52 pm
  10. It is important to read the labels on your bread to also ensure that there is no High Fructose Corn Syrup in it. For some reason many bakeries add this unhealthy ingredient so check that you buy Whole Grain without it.

    Comment by Ginny HW on February 12, 2015 at 7:04 am
  11. Thanks Linda I will print for a great refrence for John and I

    Comment by laura cappabianca on February 13, 2015 at 10:54 am
  12. Thanks so much for such a thorough article and recipes too! Very generous of you to share this important information.

    Comment by Michelle Silveira on February 16, 2015 at 11:37 am

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