Overwhelmed by all the options in your local supermarket? No time to review the nutritional information for each item you purchase? Fear no more! Here are seven supermarket staples and a simple formula to transform your grocery shopping experience.  The best way to tackle the supermarket is to group foods into one of these categories for an easy-to-follow guide on what to get and how many servings to plan out.

1. GREENS (2 servings per day)

No need to identify the ingredients in a bag of greens! Go straight to the produce section and select fresh spinach, mesclun, or arugala!  Here are some great salad recipes to help you get started.

2. CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES (2 servings per day)

Cruciferous vegetables all have a shared “flower-like” quality.  Examples include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, and radishes.  Where do you weigh in on the great kale debate?  Check out some comparative facts on kale vs. spinach to help you decide!

3. “FILLER” VEGETABLES (unlimited!)

My “fillers” include red peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Low-cal, low-carb veggies that pack a tasty punch to flavor any salad, entree, or sauce.

4. WHOLE GRAINS (1 serving 4-5x per week)

My go-to whole grains include: oats, quinoa, and whole grain bread made with spelt and barley. Refer to the nutritional label and look for grains that are high in fiber and protein to partner with the carbs in the product.  Bonus?  Did you know that quinoa makes for an amazing and filling breakfast?  These 9 quinoa recipes will help you get started.

5. FRUIT (1 serving per day)

Select your craving. Yes, fruit has sugar. BUT, it is natural sugar. Also keep in mind that fruit has a lot of other positive components. For example, whole fruit contains fiber and vital nutrients.Apples, bananas, strawberries, and oranges all have 3-4 grams of fiber.  If you want a little more bang for your buck, try tropical fruits.  1 cup of guava has 9 grams of fiber!

6. PROTEIN (2 servings per day)

You can find protein in so many unexpected locations.  Legumes such as lentils, black beans, and kidney beans are high in protein. You can also easily go to classic protein sources, such aslean chicken breast, ground turkey (yes, 99% lean exists, and I promise it is still moist and flavorful!), tuna, and salmon.

7. SPICES (unlimited!)

Spices are a great way to add flavor to your meals without adding calories!  Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and the list goes on. Onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, pepper, thyme….you get the idea. A full spice rack is a happy spice rack.


Ashley, a proud BurnThis Ambassador, is a dedicated and focused fitness enthusiast, obsessed with daily Pure Barre classes, running along the East River in New York City, eating clean, and teaching Zumba. Ashley’s passion for anything and everything fitness-related began three years ago when she embarked on a weight-loss journey. Along the way and 80 lbs. lighter, Ashley fell in love with running races, the squat rack, grilled chicken and sweet potatoes, and most importantly herself. Ashley works full-time as a faculty/staff member at New York University and part-time as a NASM CPT and Zumba instructor at an all-women’s fitness facility in Brooklyn. In Ashley’s spare time, you can find her blogging about her fitness tips, strategies, and stories, whipping up new healthy recipes in her NYC kitchen, or at the squat rack. Ashley hopes to inspire others with her love and passion for fitness by blogging, teaching, training, and one day opening her own business catered towards motivating women to set and achieve their personal goals in the gym and in the kitchen. Ashley is so excited to be a part of the BurnThis #fitfam.


By Ashley Nickelsen, BurnThis Ambassador