3 Things You Need to Do Before Stepping Foot Into Your Health Food Store

Before we start, let’s do a pulse-check.

Are you feeling overwhelmed about where you’re at compared to where you want to be when it comes to your health goals?

I want to remind you that all of this: these resources, your whole journey is about you feeling empowered to take YOUR next step.

If that means testing out every recommendation I share on this blog, great! If that means picking up ONE piece of what I’ve shared and trying something new, that’s amazing!

We’re all on our own journey. You’re doing this. You’re in your own lane. I’m cheering you on. All you need to do is take your next step, one day at a time. 

Got it? Okay, let’s jump in.

I used to wander around the grocery store and health food store without a game plan, and honestly? When I started this journey 4 years ago, I was over-freaking-whelmed. 

It’d be Sunday afternoon or Monday after work. I’d have an hour to run to the store and get food for the week. I had no idea what to buy let alone how to get in and out quickly before I “accidentally” found the Oreos.

I get it... figuring out WHAT to eat when you’re already in the store is the hardest part! It’s distracting.

Why planning ahead, even a little, is essential

Today, I’m showing y’all how I teach my clients to navigate meal prepping and your local health food store!

My health food store helper!

My health food store helper!

I am way more conscious of the foods I’m buying at the grocery store, specifically foods with added sugars. Now I’m excited to write out my grocery lists on Saturdays and think about the week ahead. It helps alleviate stress during the week when I’m super busy with work and don’t need to think about my meals or cooking. Not to mention I feel super proud of myself for adding in more veggies and healthy foods to my diet!
— Chelsea, West Hartford, CT

A 1x1 health coaching client success story - love it!


When I’m not traveling, I use this template to get myself ready for the week ahead. Go ahead and print your own copy before moving forward. I’ll walk you through everything!

I love using this: I’m busy during the week (aren’t we all?) so I never have to guess what I should make. It lets me plan ahead: if I know I’ll be going out for dinner on Tuesday, I’ll make a veggie-packed home-cooked lunch and not buy extra food for dinner.

The template is intentionally flexible: As Type A as I am, rigid rules never worked for me in the long run. 

Okay, ready?

Step One: Take Inventory

I first check out my pantry, refrigerator and freezer. What fruits/veggies do I already have that I can use this week?

One way to save money (and food waste!) is to make sure you’re only buying what you need and can eat before it spoils. Clean out your fridge this week and take inventory on which foods were and weren’t consumed. This will help create a new shopping list that will cut waste but still provide enough for the week.

Using shredded carrots before they go to waste!

Using shredded carrots before they go to waste!


Step Two: Batch Recipes

Then, I pick a few healthy recipes that I can easily make multiple servings of in one batch. Think: one-pot meals, huge salads, finding three different oatmeal recipes for the week.

I use Pinterest, recipe books, healthy blogs, nutrition plans, certain diets that I’m intrigued by, etc.

I choose recipes that focus on fruits, vegetables and foods that occur in nature. While I’m versed in over 100 dietary theories, I’ve realized that sticking to whole foods and the things I enjoy naturally keep me at my healthy weight. 

Step Three: Fill Your Template

Lastly, I fill out my planning template and create my grocery list accordingly! It’s that easy.

Lauren Stickney Health Coach - Health Food Store 3.JPG

My challenge for you this week: Fill out your template before you ever set foot in your neighborhood health food store.

YOU. CAN. DO. THIS. Progress, not perfection. I’m cheering you on!

Need additional support? Contact me to schedule a complimentary health consultation.