My Shopping List

I’m sure most of us can agree that one of the most overwhelming things this year is grocery shopping.

Although TVA, like most seminaries, provides students with lunch and dinner, being the vegetarian and health conscious girl that I am, I often prefer to cook my own meals. Thankfully, cooking is something that I enjoy in New York as well, so preparing my own food wasn’t as a big a shock to me as it could have been. However, the budgeting, shopping, planning and prepping (you know, all the “mom” stuff) that goes into creating a meal is definitely something I’m still adjusting to.

At home I appreciate the convenience of a well stocked pantry bursting with ready-to-use ingredients (and, when catastrophe strikes, Gourmet Glatt – which has everything that is anything – is just minutes away). However, we all arrived to our apartments and dorms to find bare cabinets and empty refrigerators waiting to be filled.

Now, something which was previously simple – such as roasting cauliflower – doesn’t only mean buying a cauliflower head and throwing it in the oven; it means a trip to numerous shops to first find a decent looking vegetable, then another stop for some olive oil, salt and spices, and finally another venture out for tins and aluminum foil- stuff that’s usually commonplace at home, but isn’t in your dorm unless you purchase it.

So, to relieve some of this shopping stress (and hopefully help you guys!) I decided to compile a basic list of some foods I typically choose from when I go grocery shopping.

I don’t buy all of these items every outing (that would definitely exceed the limitations of my upper body strength and even more so my budget…), however these are all healthy choices that are relatively easy to find and prepare in a seminary setting, so it will only help you to include as many as possible.

My Shopping List

A. Fruits/Vegetables

All fruits and vegetables are great for your body and you should try to incorporate them into your diet whenever possible. These are only a few personal favorites that have been easy to find around Israel lately.


  • Apples
  • Clementines (ps – they have a green peel here instead of an orange one)
  • Peaches
  • Grapefruits
  • Kiwis
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Bananas
  • Lemons


  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes (including cherry tomatoes!)
  • Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Lentils
  • Salad Greens

B. Dairy/Refrigerated/Frozen Items

  • Milk – preferably 1% or 3%
  • Almond Milk
  • Fruit Juice (made of 100% of the fruit – no added sugars or artificial ingredients) – I personally love orange juice and pomegranate juice
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Bio Yogurt (or other yogurt with no added sugar or artificial ingredients)
  • String Cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Bulgarian Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Edamame- great to keep frozen and heat up for a snack
  • Frozen Fish – Salmon, Tilapia, etc.

C. Snacks

  • Assorted nuts (my personal favorites for snacking are cashews and almonds, but really all types are great)
  • Assorted Seeds – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Dried fruit – figs, apricots, mango, cranberries, raisins, dates, etc. Just check the ingredient lists to make sure there’s no added sugar.
  • Crackers or pretzels made with whole wheat flour
  • Dark Chocolate – 65% cacao or higher
  • Granola Bars (made with no added sugars or artificial ingredients)
  • Cereal (made with no added sugars or artificial ingredients)
  • Tea

D. Condiments, Oils and Spices

  • Hummus (obviously!)
  • 100% Natural Honey
  • Natural Maple Syrup (made with no added sugars or artificial ingredients)
  • Peanut Butter (made with no added sugars or artificial ingredients)
  • Almond Butter (made with no added sugars or artificial ingredients)
  • Jam (made of 100% fruit – no added sugars or artificial ingredients)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Zaatar
  • Tumeric
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Cinnamon

E. Whole Grains/Oats

  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Brown Rice Cakes
  • Quinoa – Red or regular
  • Rice – red, brown, wild, etc. Pretty much anything that’s not white rice.
  • Bulgur
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Instant Oats (for oatmeal)

F. Canned Items

  • Tuna (in olive oil)
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Olives
  • Unsweetened Applesauce

With that, I think you guys should be set!

Again, these are only some suggestions of foods I like to have on hand. This is not an “all inclusive” list, and I strongly encourage you to eat a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains for optimal health.

Was this list helpful to you? Do you have anything to add to the list? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below!

Now go buy sem healthy food!

Good luck sem shoppers! 🙂

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3 thoughts on “My Shopping List

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