10 Things I Always Have on My Grocery List

by | May 2, 2023

These are 10 Things I buy and eat every week to support my weight loss. 

I want to tell you something; 

  • I am not the arbiter of what is good and what is bad. 
  • I am not God. 
  • I am not you. 
  • I am not here to tell you what you should and should not eat. 

Unf*ck Your Weight Loss is really about simplifying your weight loss about making weight loss as easy as possible. 

That’s what this list was really all about. Just to show anyone who was interested how super simple, easy, and easy it can be. I could have made it a longer post. I could have given all the different examples of all the meals I could create with these items. But I’m ambitiously lazy, and I’m not the fastest or best typer in the world. 

1) Bagged Lettuce 

Especially shredded or chopped. If something is not already finely chopped, that’s my magic move. That’s how to make your salad so easy to eat and taste good. The thought of big lettuce leaves, it’s just so clunky trying to eat it at work. Nevermind in your car, don’t eat a salad in your car, but especially when you’re hungry. Especially if you don’t have a knife. 

If you chop everything finely and you can also not just chop the lettuce. You could chop up the cucumbers, the carrots, the celery, everything and anything finely chopped is going to taste better and be easier to consume. I promise you. The only downside to a chopped salad is that it doesn’t necessarily refrigerate that well. It will get soggy over time. 

I also love that bagged cabbage aka the coleslaw mix. You can get the green, the purple, the mix. You can get the one that actually says coleslaw and even has shredded carrots in there. I love it. 

All of these things are so easy to add to another salad o make the salad bigger or more filling. I really think about how to make a kick ass salad, a salad that does not suck. 

Here’s what you need. You need your finely chopped lettuce or cabbage right or a mix of both. Warm protein, and this could be ground meat. If you’re doing a taco salad style or grilled steak or chicken, any shrimp, any kind of protein that you like, warm. Then you put it on lettuce and you add salt. It is amazing. 

Salt on a salad helps soften the lettuce. It wilts the lettuce a little bit so it’s not so big and clunky and flavorless. I think salt is a game changer. If you want to make a salad that does not suck, that is what I would do. I get it in the middle of winter, you’re not thinking big salad is what I crave now. But you know what? You can make salads that taste good year round. 

I want to add this, you don’t need to eat salads for weight loss. I do think you need fiber for weight loss, you probably want nutrients for weight loss. You also want to feel full and there’s nothing that builds you up more than a big ass salad. 

2) Eggs 

You could say eggs are expensive but to me they are a perfect protein. Plus they are so easy to use on their own. 

You could; 

  • Scramble them, 
  • Fry them, 
  • Hard boil them, 
  • Make egg cups, 
  • Use them for a variety of recipes. 

They are incredibly versatile. 

I hard boil at least 12 eggs every few days. I make a super simple egg salad often. I literally take one whole egg and, depending on my hunger level, add three to five whites. I give the hard boiled egg yolk to my dogs. I add salt and light mayo, that’s it, boom. I eat it on a salad, on bread, a roll up, or just as is. You could also use carrots, celery, or chopped peppers to eat it like an egg salad dip. It is very simple, very filling, and protein packed. 

3) Frozen Vegetables

Having frozen vegetables on hand means you always have something simple and easy on hand, year round, and it’s a nice base for protein. If you already have the grilled chicken or the salmon or the shrimp or whatever, you can make a meal pretty quickly. The only downside of course to frozen vegetables is if someone in your family grabs them to make an ice pack. Then they get all mushed and molded and unusable after that. 

I love all of the different cauliflower rice blends. I think they’re amazing. I will have all of the frozen vegetables;

  • Corn, 
  • Peas, 
  • Carrots, 
  • Broccoli, 
  • Green beans, 


You can argue that some vegetables have more carbohydrates, more sugar, more fiber, or are better for you. I mean, honestly, nobody’s ever come to me and said, Bonnie, my biggest problem, the reason I’m overweight, is I ate too many peas and corn. Never once. I use that always as a filter when we’re getting into the nitty gritty of why some foods are good or why some foods are bad. Nobody’s ever had a weight problem because they ate too much corn, not once. Do I think you should eliminate corn? No, I don’t think so. If you like corn, great, you know it’s just extra added fiber for you. 

When it comes to frozen vegetables I will say this, I do not like microwaving plastic. I do not microwave plastic bags or steamer bags or any of that stuff. You’re just exposing yourself to more plastic and now it’s heated plastic that’s probably seeping into your vegetables. Our vegetables are obviously in the plastic bags but now we’re just sort of compounding that. I think we’re already bombarded with enough plastics. I would not do that. I would take your frozen vegetables out of the plastic and heat them up. Maybe stovetop or if you are using a microwave then use a microwave safe glass bowl or container 

4) Ground Meat

Ground meat is amazing. 

  • Turkey, 
  • Beef, 
  • Bison, 
  • Chicken,

Whatever looks like its good quality.

The problem is that you could be getting the not best cuts right or something that’s higher in fat that you don’t want. Of course you can always drain ground meat.

You don’t have to be much of a cook to take a package of ground turkey or beef or bison and literally put it on the stovetop and brown it. It’s so simple and easy. Even if you just put salt in there, it’s going to taste good. 

There’s a million different ways to use ground meat, 

  • Taco night,
  • A taco salad,
  • With tomato sauce and zucchini noodles,
  • Mixed with your frozen vegetables, 
  • Added to rice. 

It’s just super easy, versatile. 

You can make meatballs and burgers. I have a couple funny videos about making meatballs. It is kind of a long standing joke. If you know, you know. If you don’t know, it’s okay, you’re not missing anything that funny. 

I think I am best known for my lack of cooking skills or my lack of interest in recipes. Telling people that I’m going to show them my famous meatball recipe, and I’m just like, you take the ground meat, and then you make it into a ball and you cook it. Burgers are the same as the meatball, except you just smoosh it down. It’s just so easy.

I know your brain might be thinking, that’s not going to taste good, that it will be boring, or no one else will want to eat it. I just think that’s not true. If you’re making burgers, whether turkey, beef, or chicken burgers or whatever, you know what, slap some cheese on that, put it on a bun and give it to your kids. They’re going to eat it. Same thing if you’re making something for your spouse. 

I don’t think that our biggest problem is that we’re not supposed to have the burger on bread or we’re not supposed to have the burger with cheese. The bigger problem is that we make a lot of things off limits and a huge deal. Then when we finally do eat something, we tend to over eat it.

5) Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

I want to tell you potatoes and sweet potatoes are actually in different food families. They’re not the same, like just different colors. They have different properties and different nutrients and things like that. This is not necessarily about going in depth into each food and all of the nutrients and the vitamins and the minerals. This one versus this one. That stuff’s out on Google. 

I’m not going to argue for potatoes versus sweet potatoes, except to tell you macronutrient wise, they’re very equal. They’re not radically different. Even for your body composition goals, I don’t think they’re radically different. I think people vilify a regular potato and glorify a sweet potato, for whatever reason. You can make both part of your weight loss.

They’re both very simple to cook, you can;

  • Easily bake them, 
  • Airfryer them, 
  • Microwave them, 
  • Peel them, 
  • Chop them, 
  • Boil them, 

They’re versatile, and they’re very easy to reheat. 

White potatoes in particular are super interesting. There is data that I think you might want to listen to. When you take regular potatoes, not sweet potatoes, cook them, refrigerate them and then reheat them after 24 hours you’re get something called resistant starch. Resistant starch is very healthy for your gut biome. It can be a very good tool for having healthy gut bacteria. When we have healthy gut bacteria we have better health and better digestion. I think that’s legit. 

Many people have actually been surprised that potatoes can be part of their healthy weight loss goals. Potatoes are also different from French fries or potato chips. Right? That’s why I think potatoes get a bad rap. I think spent a lot more time counting carbs than actually eating them which is kind of funny to think about. 

My results for overall weight loss were actually better when I included carbs. That can be learning how to do some carb cycling, where you add more carbs on specific days. Sometimes that is just picking three days out of the week. Regardless of strength training, or just matching the higher carb count to when you do strength training. Even doing carb cycling, if you’re not yet strength training, by varying the amount of carbs. I don’t mean in any random way, like, Oh, I feel like having carbs today. It’s decided ahead of time. 

My clients will do something like every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, their carb count is just higher. Or I strength train Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday so I add in this meal that has more carbs. Again carbs are potatoes and sweet potatoes, they’re not French fries, and potato chips. It is very different. 

6) Condiments

I didn’t include this in the post because I’m a better talker than typer. 

Cooking spray, I don’t use oil anymore. I just think it’s really easy to over consume. I can get the benefits of essential fatty acids in other ways rather than pouring oil all over my food. It’s very calorie intense. If you think about it, a tablespoon of oil is not a lot to eat and you’re looking at anywhere from 120 to 140 calories per tablespoon. So I get cooking spray. Usually an olive oil or a coconut oil one. The coconut oil, to me it smelled initially but it does not affect the taste of my food. I do try to buy higher quality sprays. I use those all the time. 

I like pickles, lots and lots of pickles. I like pickles to chop up. You could put that in your egg salad or your tuna salad. You can put them in a salad. You can put them on a burger. You can put them with vegetables. I just love the taste. 

Something I didn’t add to my list of condiments, sauerkraut. I love sauerkraut, I think it’s a great fermented food. 

Now we’re going to get into mayonnaise. Some people don’t like mayonnaise at all. Some people don’t like the fact that light versions of food have more fillers and things like that. I actually like the taste of mayonnaise and therefore I choose light mayonnaise because it has less calories. At the end of the day, calories do matter. You’re not going to have weight loss and especially fat loss if we’re not in some level of deficit of calories. I make the decision that if I’m going to have mayonnaise then I’m going to have light mayonnaise. 

I buy all kinds of mustard. Everything under the sun. Spicy mustard, German mustard, honey mustard. I read the labels to see what’s in there. Generally speaking, even if a honey mustard does have extra added honey, we’re not talking about loads of calories or loads of carbohydrates or anything like that.

Ketchup, yes ketchup. I have never had anybody come to me and say, my weight loss problem is ketchup. It’s definitely ketchup, not the french fries. It’s not pizza, ice cream, cookies or snacking all the time. It’s definitely ketchup. I have no issue with ketchup. I don’t look for any. 

I don’t buy crappy ketchup. I did notice on some things like Wendy’s little ketchup packs. Sometimes when you go to a restaurant, whatever version of ketchup they have on the table sometimes has added corn syrup. I will say I don’t like corn syrup. I try to avoid foods with corn syrup. If I can avoid it. I will if you’re looking at most ketchup, it doesn’t have added corn syrup. 

I do buy ketchup. I use ketchup. I don’t use a lot of ketchup because I don’t have a lot of things to put it on. But if I’m having a burger, I like ketchup.

Salsa, lots of different sauces out there. Very tasty. You know a lot of people like ketchup and or salsa with eggs and things like that.

Olives are great. They can be part of a salad. I like them chopped up. You can just add them to whatever vegetable dish that you have. 

A friend of mine mentioned the yellow banana pepper rings. I love those. There’s a product out there that’s a  jarred spicy pepper mix called Wiggles, maybe. It’s very good. I buy the jars of roasted red peppers. Those are great for salads and sandwiches and burgers and whatnot. 

Sriracha, a little spice. Coconut aminos, it’s a lot like soy sauce. These are things that are pretty standard in my refrigerator. 

7) Iodized Salt

Salt on everything, friends, everything. I put salt in my coffee. If I make a protein shake, and I haven’t made one in a bazillion years, I would put salt in there. It really takes down the bitterness of coffee. It’s great. I find when things are sweet, like a protein shake, or if I’m putting stevia or Splenda in my coffee, salt kind of makes it not so sweet. 

I think it’s transformative for all of your meals. Especially if you’re a person who doesn’t take in a lot of carbohydrates. You know, they call that the Keto flu or the low carb flu when you feel like crap. It’s because your sodium levels are changing. You really could use some salt to make you feel better. I’m not pushing Keto or low carb. I think most of you probably figured out that I don’t really necessarily subscribe to either of those. 

I do like salt and I do think you need iodized salt. Iodine is something that you’re just not finding in our food as much anymore. Changes in soil over the years maybe. There’s lots of fancy salts, the Himalayan salt, salt with different flavors, I’m not opposed to that. Myself, I like iodized salt. 

8) Seltzer Waters

Lots of seltzer waters. The seltzer water industry is amazing. It’s kind of like the yogurt industry. If you go to the grocery store, like holy sh*t. There’s a lot to choose from. The Polar brand is here in New England. We always have lots of different Polar Selters. My favorite Polar flavor is orange vanilla in the cans. That’s definitely my favorite. 

There is a new one out Liquid Death. I like that one. Those are regulars in my house. My kids like those as well. 

Brace yourself, diet soda. It’s not good for you. I’m not pushing diet soda as like, Hey, if you want to be healthy, and you want lots of nutrition, you should drink diet soda. What I will tell you is that diet soda is something I enjoy. I think it can be a helpful tool in weight loss. If you’re having a craving, sometimes a diet soda kind of works for that. 

I think it’s surprising. It may sound kind of, hypocritical that I would drink diet soda, but so what. You know, I’m a regular person. I eat pizza. I eat chips. I eat all the things and I do like diet soda. It’s not in lieu of water. It’s not in lieu of drinking seltzer water, but it can be something that’s really helpful. I don’t think you should have regular soda, for sure. I think that is a huge waste of calories. There’s a lot of data that shows drinking regular soda does contribute to obesity. 

The studies about diet soda are pretty interesting. There were some things going back and forth in the science community about diet soda ruining your gut biome. People would say diet soda was not good for their cellulite, but I think that’s just anecdotal. 

I think one of the things that I’ll share with you in terms of drinking seltzer or diet soda, is that if you’re taking in carbonations you are not necessarily going to have a flat stomach when you drink a lot of carbonated beverages. I would caution you to not drink carbonated beverages while you eat a meal. I would actually eat your meal and then drink after the meal. That’s just one of the things that, for me, has proven to give me better digestion. 

9) Fresh Vegetables 

Frozen vegetables are really nice to have on hand. When I go and buy real vegetables I just think about what we’re absolutely going to use. It sucks to buy these things and have them rot in your refrigerator. It sucks. My kids will eat broccoli, they’ll eat green beans, those are not my favorites. To be perfectly honest, I love mushrooms, I love onions. Those are my go-tos that nobody else really likes. It’s totally okay to have those differences. 

Asparagus, I love it in season. I really think most people will like vegetables when they’re done out on the grill. Doing kabobs and skewers and all of that stuff. Get creative. If you’re going to put steak or chicken breasts on the grill, why not put all your vegetables on there too.

Most every grocery store I have visited in the last couple of years have so many different options for vegetable combinations. Things that are ready to go for a stir fry or things like that. Even things that are already done for you like zoodles, the zucchini noodles that are pre cut. Everything now in the grocery store is just ready to open and cook. 

You don’t have to buy all the vegetables. Especially if you find that you’re not that motivated to make them. Buy a little of the fresh stuff. Then always have the frozen ones as backup. 

I also like to put cooked vegetables on my big ass salad. If I’m already cooking some ground turkey or ground beef and I put in mushrooms and onions, or even add in broccoli or carrots or whatever, then put it on top of a salad. Just the warmth from the vegetables and the protein really make the lettuce tasty too. 

10) Emergency Foods

I call them emergency foods because I just like to have them in the house. The one that caught people’s eye of course, were protein bars. The one that nobody commented on was cans of tuna. Sort of interesting. 

Protein bars. Our brains look for what is attractive and protein bars are essentially a candy bar with added protein. That’s okay. I’ve never felt like protein bars were helpful for my weight loss personally. However, they could be helpful for me not to gain weight and helpful for me to maintain my loss. I have protein bars that I’d put in a suitcase and a carry-on protein bars that I would leave in a backpack or in my car. If I go you out for a couple hours because my kids have a ninja comp and it takes an extra couple hours. I’m not starving. I have something to eat at home tonight. I think it is a really big timesaver. I do always read the labels. I try to buy the best quality.

Tuna. I think tuna is one of those things that you can overeat. There’s plenty of evidence that eating tons of tuna isn’t probably the healthiest for you. There’s better fish selections if you’re looking to add the Omega three to your life. 

There are of course other things I like to keep in the pantry. We have oatmeal, pasta, cream of wheat cereal, and all kinds of things in the pantry. 

For me, I’m always thinking about protein first. How am I going to make a meal that is anchored with protein? A can of tuna, super handy. You can put that on a salad, you can make it fancy, you can make it not so fancy. Both protein bars and tuna obviously have protein and that is something that is going to help you feel more satisfied. Your body does burn a couple extra calories digesting protein. The tuna versus a protein bar, protein bar obviously has carbs and fats and other additives as well. 

Here’s kind of where I would leave it. If you want to make weight loss easy you have to set yourself up for success. Keeping meals super simple and easy is one strategy that I know always works. Do I have other things in the house? Of course, but when it comes to my day to day eating, some of it is just the same things over and over. I don’t find it boring. I find it freeing. 

It’s very freeing to;

  • Have a simple way to mix and match meals.
  • Not always have to make a lot of decisions. 
  • Not think that I need more recipes, I need a different way to eat, I need more information. 
  • Go into a grocery store and not have to spend two or three hours reading all the labels, because I just tend to buy the same things over and over again. 
  • Not bring in foods that are really tempting. 

It gives me more peace of mind to not have to be like, Oh, 

  • Should I eat that? 
  • Should I not eat that? 
  • It’s in the cabinet, should I have a little bit? 
  • Should I try to wait? 
  • Should I have it for later? 
  • What if someone else eats it? 
  • What if someone else sees it? 
  • Should I hide it?  

It’s just extra added drama. 

If I do have an urge or a craving for my favorite foods, then I will intentionally decide to have those whether that’s going to a restaurant, or bringing my favorite food into the house. Other than that, on the day to day, I just keep it simple. 

Maybe something that I have on my list seems surprising to you. I would love to hear your feedback. I would love to hear what you have on your list on the regular. I hope this was helpful to you just to keep it so simple and so easy. 

If you are someone who is looking for help, especially if you have a lot of thoughts about Well, that seems really boring. I could never do that. My family wouldn’t be on board and what if, what if, what if, what if, what if. That’s why we get coaching. You can get that kind of coaching, not just in the free group, obviously come to Food, Fitness, Fat Loss for Real Life. It is a free group and I give lots of content there. I don’t hold anything back. If you are looking to shortcut some of that do it yourself time. If you’re looking to get help with specific issues for yourself, come to Self Made Society or come to Self Made. Those are two programs that I have. If I think one is better than the other for you, I’m happy to tell you. I don’t ever want someone to join either of my programs if they’re not a right fit. If you’re not a f*ck yes, then you’re a Fuck no. I keep it real like that.


Eating for weight loss can be simple. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. You don’t need all the recipes and complicated shopping lists. You just need to KEEP. IT. SIMPLE. After all, my goal is to help you simplify your weight loss and achieve your goals while also enjoying the foods that you love. So I decided to share with you 10 things that I always have on my grocery list. Some of the things on my list might be surprising to you. I think people want to think that anybody who is in the health fitness, nutrition, weight loss transformation coaching space is f*cking perfect. Like they only eat organic and only eat chicken and broccoli…nothing else. But that would be a lie. I’m not perfect. I’m human. And so are you. If you want to simplify your weight loss, you should definitely start simplifying your grocery list. Let’s get into my list on episode 44 of Unf*ck Your Weight Loss right now!


Bonnie Lefrak is a Life & Body Transformation Expert and Founder of Self Made, a program designed to help you tackle the physical aspects of health and weight loss as well as the beliefs and thoughts that drive our habits and behaviors. It is her goal to help women create certainty in their own lives, their own results, and their own abilities.

Weight loss is not about the one “right” diet – it is about MUCH more than that. Weight loss is not about the one “right” workout. Weight loss is not about being positive and putting a big smile on. Weight loss is about FEELINGS. All of them. Not trying to bury them or hide from them but knowing and allowing the full human experience.

Weight loss is not about grinding hustling and will powering your way to some end line. Transformation (when done well) is done from the inside out.

By addressing both the physical and mental aspects of dieting and weight loss, she has coached thousands of women ages 30-55+ from all over and helped them ditch the mindsets that are holding them back, achieve permanent weight loss, and get the bangin’ body of their dreams.

Bonnie is an expert at Demystifying weight loss. She helps you unf*ck your diet brain.

She is on a mission to help women love themselves, to find PEACE in the process of losing weight, taking care of themselves, and leveraging the power they do have to become who and want they want right now.

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