The truth is, even in normal life, I think about our family’s meals and grocery lists all the time. Given my desire to go out into the world as little as possible right now while serving my family meals that are as nutrient dense as possible, I’ve put a lot of thought into what and how we’re eating.

My primary goal for us nutritionally is to eat as many veggies and fruits as possible, paired with lean, clean protein sources like grass-fed beef, organic, pasture-raised chicken and sustainably raised seafood. To boost our immune function, and because by doing so we generally feel our best, we’re eating less grains, carbohydrates and sugars. We already eat gluten and dairy free, but keeping traditionally inflammatory foods (wheat, dairy, sugar, soy, eggs) to a minimum has been important in our planning.

My last shopping trip was to Trader Joe’s and I did a massive re-stock that has kept us in good shape for two weeks. I shop primarily at TJ’s and New Seasons, and I choose TJ’s because their items are mostly packaged and I felt better about being able to discard or clean the packaging when I got home. I had not yet watched this video, but I did a lower key version of leaving bags in the car, cleaning items before putting them in a clean laundry basket to bring them into the house. While primary transmission of COVID-19 is person to person, I recommend watching the video link above to bring awareness to how we can be spreading the virus around our homes.

My goal in shopping was to purchase long lasting produce. My list items are below. When I arrived at TJ’s that morning, I found out that they were asking people to only buy two of any item, which was actually fine and even helped to diversify our selection.

Flexibility is key and having general concepts of what you’re looking for is important. Certain things might be out of stock at the exact day and time you show up. The meals I’m cooking are staples for our family and basic in nature. No micro shopping for small odd-ball ingredients these days. Simple, straight forward, nutrient dense.

I’ve also been trying to use mail services like Amazon, Costco, Theo’s Chocolate in Seattle (priorities people!) for a dark chocolate post-dinner treat, Bob’s Red Mill and Siete Grain Free tortillas and chips as much as possible. Many things are out of stock online, and shipping times are much slower than normal. We happened to start a subscription to ButcherBox in February (they currently have a waitlist for new members). It’s been so helpful to have a freezer full of ethically raised meats.

Brussel sprouts
Green beans
Red peppers
Sweet potatoes
Green beans

Frozen berries

Grass-fed yogurt
Organic shredded cheese (for the kids)
Nuts – walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews to soak to make dairy-free sauces
Organic full fat coconut milk

The meals

  • Sheet pan fajitas (sub out anything you like for the salmon)
  • Red sauce bowls: Roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes/squash (cubed and roasted), Brussel sprouts (sauted and finished in the oven), browned ground beef, Justa Pasta marinara (take out)
  • Roast (nom nom paleo kaula pig), I follow this same recipe for pork or beef, asparagus, cauliflower (roasted)
  • Left over roast for tacos a night or two later
  • Mongolian beef & stir fried broccoli
  • Homemade pizza and salad (For the kids. Jeremy and I still do “pizza” night, but with a homemade vegan mozzerella and grain free crust (Defined Dish cookbook).
  • Nachos – Here’s our favorite paleo nacho sauce. Top with left over protein, salsa, Trader Joes hot sweet jalepenos, anything! We eat with Siete grain-free chips.
  • Pick a protein, choose a veggie that’s left, cook and pair together! Chicken breast, and whatever is left!?
  • For breakfast we eat a simple chia pudding with nuts/granola. The kids eat yogurt, frozen berries and granola or homemade banana bread (I’ve updated my recipe to include the gluten free version I’ve been making for them of late.)

I’ve planned things out to use up produce that goes bad more quickly first.

Happy planning!

Author Lee Carson is a writer, health advocate and co-owner of Hyatt Training. She believes in a minimally processed whole-foods approach to nutrition, and loves sharing ways to use food and movement as catalysts and tools for optimal health. Learn more about Lee, or get in touch with her by emailing us at

Hyatt Training is a collective of certified, enthusiastic and innovative personal trainers in Portland, Oregon. To read more nutrition-related posts like this one, follow this link.