By JJ Virgin

Most weight loss and wellness plans focus on what you can’t eat. They’re quick to tell you to throw out the cookies, candies and chips from your house. Of course, I hope that you keep the enemy out of the house, too. (You don’t need the temptation or foods calling out to you in the middle of the night! I don’t know how that chocolate knows me by name!)
I want to focus now on what you should keep in the house. Many people find it hard to stick to a healthy eating program because they don’t have the type of foods that they need close at hand. You’re starving and it’s just easier to run to a fast food restaurant or order a pizza. Let’s stop that madness! I wanted to offer you a quick grocery list of what should be in your closet and freezer. Remember that options that are easy to make will make it easy for you to eat healthy.


Below, I’ll offer a sample grocery list of what products are great to keep in your fridge, freezer and closet. This is an easy way to make sure you have the staples for your healthy meals.


Grass fed beef (Make into patties and freeze)
Bison patties or ground bison (Have five to ten packs ready to go; even eat them for breakfast)
Organic chicken and turkey sausages
Frozen wild scallops (I love the ones at Trader Joe’s)
Frozen shrimp (Again, great ones at Trader Joe’s)
Organic turkey breast
Frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries and cherries are wonderful)
Frozen veggies (have a wide variety and use them for sides, soups and stir-fry’s).


Organic turkey slices (To throw on a rice cake or in a salad or roll-up)
Grass fed beef slices (To throw on a rice cake or in a salad or roll-up)
Organic whole chicken (For meals, salads and JJ’s dog loves it, too!)
Uncured, nitrate free bacon (Add bits to salads, too)
Garlic: whole cloves and crushed (Use whole cloves to jazz up roasted veggies)
Nut butters: almond butter, pecan butter, walnut butter, macadamia butter and cashew butter are yummy)
Guacamole (Whole Foods makes an amazing one with salsa in it)
Bagged salad greens and whole salad greens that you will chop
Bagged and fresh veggies for stir-fry’s
Wasabi peas to kick you salad in the butt
Containers of cut-up, fresh, washed veggies (To use in salads or steam as sides)
Greek yogurt (If you can handle dairy)
Goat or feta cheese (If you can handle dairy)
Eggs (If you can handle dairy)
Fresh, low-glycemic index fruits such as berries and apples (Some may go on the counter to ripen)
All the non-starchy veggies you can store and eat that week!


Quality shake mixes (Check them out in my store at
Canned beans — including black beans and lentils. (Some people can make them fresh from a bag. They become little hard rocks for me. The cans are fine.)
Organic chicken broth
Brown rice
Rice pasta, whole grain pasta
Whole grain wraps and pitas
Rice cakes and rice chips
Sea salt rice crackers (I crunch them over salads instead of tortilla chips)
Nuts (Mix it up and choose from raw almonds, raw sunflower seeds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios)
A little dark chocolate (Know yourself, I have to watch it because it calls to me at night. Don’t make a good thing bad and remember your portion control. Keep one serving at a time if you can’t resist).
Green teas (To drink both iced and hot)
Garbanzo beans
Can of green chilies
Ready-made sauces that aren’t heinous (Including red Thai curry sauce from Trader Joe’s. Make sure you read labels to find hidden sugars or high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. Don’t buy products with those ingredients in them).
Coconut milk in pantry for shakes and sauces (Put in the fridge after you open it)
Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (Love to throw them into roasted veggie mix)

Next Week: I’ll cover other foods including oils and shakes that should also be staples in your kitchen