Powerlifter’s Grocery List

The best advice for grocery shopping is to shop at the edges of the grocery store and stock up on sales for the freezer. Don’t even bother going down the aisles… that’s where all the junk is. Hit up the produce section for quality veggies that will last you through the week, visit the meat & seafood counter (look for sales so you can stock up your freezer), check for sales on frozen/canned vegetables, grab a couple dozen eggs, and get the hell out of there. You can be in and out in 15 minutes … no need to walk down every aisle looking at all the colorful boxes of candy coated trash. Everything you need (other than spices, nuts, and dried/canned foods) will be along the load bearing walls of the building.


Meat – Eat it all. Try new things. Look for sales. Roasts are great for cooking in bulk. Get Grass Fed Organic if you can afford it – it is more lean and the fat it contains has more Omega 3 fatty acids in it.

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Goat
  • Pork
  • GO NUTS!

Seafood – Same as above…high quality, wild caught fish. LOTS OF SEAFOOD! If you’re getting lobster, crab, or clams plan to eat them that day or the following.  Fish fillets can be frozen. Canned seafood also rocks – TUNA (!!), clams, crabmeat, mussels, sardines. Eat them up.

  • Fish (all kinds)
  • Clams
  • Shrimp
  • Squid
  • Crabs
  • GO NUTS!

Eggs! An excellent source of protein and healthy fats


Vegetables, Herbs, & Spices! If you’re learning to eat well, vegetables, herbs, and spices are where it’s at. They don’t offer much in the way of calories but this is where all the flavor for your meals comes from. If it weren’t for vegetables, you’d be eating nothing but flavorless chicken and brown rice… and that’s not very fun is it? Vegetables are what make your sauces yummy. Vegetables are what take normal scrambled eggs into the realm of awesomeness. Vegetables are the reason why your gramma’s meatballs don’t suck. Additionally, they are full of vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to recover after lifting a zillion pounds. Also, they are full of fiber, which will give you champion poops.

Vegetables – They rock. Eat them, you idiot.

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
  • Avocados
  • Celery
  • Bell Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

Fresh Herbs – yum yum yummmm:

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Oregano (buy it dried, so it lasts longer)
  • Tarragon
  • Chives
  • Rosemary (Did you know you can freeze it? You can!)
  • Thyme (Also freeze this)

Dried & Ground Spices – Remember when I said that good flavor come from vegetables? Well it also comes from spices. Experiment with spices to see what you can do with your foods.  Eating paleo, doesn’t mean eating boring.

  • Coriander
  • Chili Powder
  • Cardamom
  • Allspice
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Celery Seed
  • Cloves
  • Oregano
  • Turmeric
  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Rosemary
  • Dried Thyme
  • Curry
  • Garam Masala
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • This list could go on forever…


Starchy Vegetables – For powerlifters and weightlifters these are IMPORTANT!! You will not make gains if you don’t eat carbohydrates and these are the most nutrient packed types of carbohydrates you can get.

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Potatoes

Fruits – Fruits are great before your lifting session when your body needs some carbohydrates and sugars to get you going. Fruits, just like veggies are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. With that said, however, they are also full of sugar, so if you’re watching your waistline don’t go nuts with them.

  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Melons
  • Berries

Sweeteners – I am personally of the opinion that if you’re going to eat dessert, just eat fucking dessert and move on in life. Don’t ruin a perfectly good dessert trying to make it healthy… it won’t be. The following items are slightly better for you than regular white sugar, but really not much, so don’t be fooled.

  • Honey
  • Agave Nectar
  • Maple Syrup

Some people don’t like grains, but I do. I like rice, I like oatmeal, and I like making home made breads and pastas for my pre/post-lifting feasts. That said, I don’t believe in buying these products off the shelves because they are often full of chemicals and preservatives. After much experimenting, and thought, I have no issues with enjoying grain products if I am taking the time to make them from scratch — ESPECIALLY, if it is in the form of delicious home-made sourdough – which is actually easier to digest and better for your body than other breads.

  • Steel cut oatmeal
  • Cream of wheat
  • White/Brown Rice
  • Whole wheat flour for making breads & pastas from scratch


Nuts – Nuts are a good quick source of calories and fat. They are great paired up with a protein shake as a midday snack, or to add a little crunch to a meal. Nuts have gained a reputation as a protein source, but they really aren’t going to cut it for those of us picking up the barbell on a regular basis. Your protein sources should be meat & seafood. Think of nuts more as “accessory work”.

  • Almonds
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts

Dairy – This is up to you. Do some self-experimentation to decide if you’re body is OK with dairy. Even if you think your body likes dairy, try giving it up for a while to make sure. You might realize that your achy joints & sore muscles feel better without it. You may also realize that your guts are happier. Experiment. See what works for you. If you’re into it, I find that it can be a delicious source of calories, fat, and protein.

  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Greek Yogurt (high in protein)
  • Cottage Cheese (high in protein)
  • Cheeses

Cooking Fats – Bacon fat & coconut oil are good for high temperature cooking. Olive oil is best at lower temperatures and as a dressing.

  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Butter
  • Bacon Fat

5 thoughts on “Powerlifter’s Grocery List

  1. Oops, I misspelled ‘you’ up there in my last comment. Shoot, I hate poor spelling…but I’m on day 1 of a serious sugar detox. I read earlier today that heroin was hard to kick, sugar isn’t. Well I’ve kicked it all and sugar is as hard as anything else. My head hurts and I’m just beginning, wish me luck. I’m going to an NA meeting tomorrow and secretly my addiction will be sugar, they’ll think I’m there for the heroin and cocaine, but those things are from 20 plus years ago! Now it’s the sugar that’s kicking my ass!!! Quitting sugar is really taking a big and positive step!!

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