Navigating the Grocery Store

| JoAnna Weinand

It’s Sunday afternoon you’re mentally preparing yourself for the work week to come. You take a peak in the fridge and wonder “What am I going to eat all week?!” Next on your weekend to-do list, going to the grocery store… but what are you going to get?! It’s Sunday afternoon you’re mentally preparing yourself for the work week to come. You take a peak in the fridge and wonder “What am I going to eat all week?!” Next on your weekend to-do list, going to the grocery store… but what are you going to get?!

First off, make a list! Find a new recipe to try this week or get the ingredients for your go-to meal. Not only will making a list help you not forget things and save you an extra trip back to the grocery store, but it will also help you avoid the unhealthy food items such as chips and candy.

Planning your meals for the week can also help keep you on track for healthy eating. If you know what you’re going to be having for supper, you’ll be less tempted to go out to eat or pick up something quick and easy on your way home from work. Not always in the mood to cook? Cook bigger portions at one time so you can have some leftovers. You can also stick your leftovers in the freezer to eat at a later time.

When at the grocery store, try and buy most of your foods from the “outside” perimeter. Most grocery stores have their fresh produce, meats, dairy, and eggs in the outside aisles and convenience foods in the middle isles.

On a tight budget? Buy produce that’s in season. Not only will it taste better, but it will be friendlier on your wallet. Another option is to buy frozen vegetables. I love to keep frozen vegetables on hand at all times. They don’t go bad, they’re a quick and easy side for your meals, and they’re affordable!

When buying grains, bread, cereals, and pasta, choose whole grains. It’s recommended for adults to consume approximately 25 grams of fiber daily. Choose whole grain options such as oatmeal, whole grain bread and pasta, and brown and wild rice.  When looking at cereals and bread, aim for at least 4 grams of fiber per serving.

Remember that eating healthy doesn’t always mean more work. There are so many healthy recipes that are super easy and quick to prepare!

Try this recipe below. It’s been my go-to recipe this winter and loved by family and friends!

Italian Pork Sausage and Orzo Soup¹


  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage or regular
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 4-8 cups beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes• 1 cup (~2) carrots sliced
  • 3/4 cup (~2) stalks of celery sliced
  • 2 cups (~1) small red potatoes diced (cut pretty small)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon full dried basil
  • 3/4 cup Orzo pasta uncooked


  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, add in the Italian sausage, minced garlic, and diced yellow onion.
  2. Crumble the sausage as you brown it.
  3. Once the sausage is cooked through and onion is tender, add in the broth, can of diced tomatoes (with juice), sliced carrots, sliced celery, diced red potatoes, and chopped bell pepper. Remember, you can use more or less of any vegetable!
  4. Add in the seasonings: Italian seasoning, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cover the pot and simmer for 20-25 minutes, OR until all the veggies are crisp-tender.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, follow package directions to cook the Orzo to al dente. Drain and rinse in cool water.
  6. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cooked and drained orzo.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings to preference. I usually add more seasonings to taste.

To learn more about healthy eating and nutrition, schedule an appointment with a dietitian today!

JoAnna Weinand graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2013 as a Registered Dietitian and started her career in New Mexico, working with many different disease states including diabetes in children and adults, kidney disease, malnutrition, weight management, and many different gastrointestinal diseases.

JoAnna has an adventurous spirit and her career has taken her from many different places, from New Mexico, to California, North Dakota and Alaska. She has worked in many different settings including hospitals, dialysis centers, skilled nursing facilities, gyms, and within the community with youth and adults in Alaska.

JoAnna has always had a passion for nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. In her spare time, she loves to travel, mountain bike, rock climb and backpack. Living back in Minnesota, she also loves to spend time with her family.

JoAnna believes that nutrition is not “one size fits all” and each nutrition plan should be tailored to meet an individual’s needs. JoAnna enjoys working with many different disease states and developing the right plan so each person can reach his or her own personal goals.


¹Italian Pork and Orzo Soup, , accessed 12th, March 2019. (recipe modified from this site).

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