Into the Shopping Cart of an Elite Runner (and her husband)

I love food.

I am sure you know that by now.

I look forward to the next meal before I even finish the last bite of the one I am eating. Food makes me happy, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I love to eat good food, yes, including unhealthy stuff like burgers and fries, Chicago deep dish pizza, and of course, lots of dessert.

However, to compete to the best of my potential. I obviously cannot eat those every single day. Although I make the most of my meals out, Steve and I tend to eat healthy most of the time.

Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to share what we buy on a typical trip to the grocery store.

Elite runners are so in tune with their bodies, but just what do they buy when they go grocery shopping. Elite runner Tina Muir shares her grocery list.

We do not spend a huge amount of money on our groceries, and for the most part, we mostly purchase fresh food. We have our staples; rice and other grains, which are used for many of our meals, but the fresh products are the only things we need to get every week.

We base a lot of the fruits and vegetables off what is in season. We purchase almost all organic fruits and vegetables (which limits our choices to an extent). Yes, it is more expensive, but it is worth it in my eyes.

Therefore, here is a list of a typical week’s shopping:

Every Week:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions

Depending on the season/our preferences, we will also pick 1-2 more fruits, and 3-4 vegetables from this list

  • Berries/Pears/Oranges/Peaches/melon/grapes/pineapple
  • Beets/mushrooms/asparagus/broccoli/sugar snap peas/squash/corn


  • Daisy (and ONLY daisy) cottage cheeseย Note- I have no affiliate/sponsor with them, it is just SO much better!
  • Greek Yogurt
    • Plain for me
    • Honey for Steve
  • Milk
    • Almond or Soy Milk for me
    • Organic Skim Milk for Steve
  • Organic cheddar cheese
  • Organic Eggs


  • Olives
  • Salsa
  • Cereal (trying to cut back on this, making my own granola instead)
    • Honey Bunches of Oats
    • Life
  • Tortilla chips
  • Chocolate of some kind/ice cream (although lately we have been making our own)

We purchase Brookview Beef Grass Fed steaks and ground beef separately, and I am extremely thankful for Nuttzo for sending me lots of deliciousness to snack on and Sizzlefish forย giving us our fish meal each week.

Most weeks we purchase some kind of chicken, but we eat meatless probably 3-4 nights a week, making sure the meat alternatives still give us everything we need.

We have a lot of pantry staples including:

  • Oats (steel cut and rolled)
  • Rice
  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Rice cakes
  • Mixedย plain nuts and dried berries
  • Seeds
  • Tuna cans (Trader Joes only)

Obviously there is a lot of variety week to week, but hopefully this shows you that we make the focus of our shopping the fruits and vegetables, and then create our meals and snacks from there.

I think next week I will go into a typical week’s meals, so you can see a little more how we come up with the meals we have for the week, but hopefully this gives a little insight into just how healthy our cart is (overall pretty good I would say!). That means we can enjoy the meals out as we know we have been good to ourselves the rest of the week.

How different does your shopping cart look?

elite eats, fueling, runner food

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  • You guys definitely eat healthy ๐Ÿ™‚ while i don’t buy all the grains, I do buy rice especially for my kids and also lots of yogurt for them – many similarities even though we have different diets.

  • Good to know we shop for mostly the same things ๐Ÿ™‚ Just curious why you’re trying to cut back on cereal? I have a high protein/low sugar cereal for breakfast most days…

  • Oh I definitely know you eat sweets after you ran me over to catch a glimpse of a GIANT cookie! ๐Ÿ™‚ We buy a lot of the same foods. Although I’ve never been a huge rice cake fan. They always seem so blah. Do you have a brand you love and more importantly, does it taste good?

    • Trader Joes…..and really, they are just a vehicle for my NUTTZO to sit on ๐Ÿ˜‰ I never eat them alone….always with nut butter ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Not that I’m an elite but a lot of these definitely look like things I would stock up on! Vegetables and fruit that I like are things that I stock up on as well. If I’m happy food wise, I’m happy me wise if that makes sense.

  • Very similar to our groceries, in many ways, but sadly we eat more prepared foods. But we try not to, and I make a lot of things over all. You gotta fuel well to work well!

  • Christine Suter
    October 23, 2015 7:04 am

    Our grocery cart is nearly identical! My husband likes sandwiches for lunch so we get a minimally processed, nitrate-free lunch meat for him. I’m trying to get us eating fewer meat-focused meals as well. And I’m glad to know there are so treats like ice cream in your house! That’s my favorite dessert and I’m excited for a milkshake after my upcoming marathon.

  • Soren Brockdorf
    October 23, 2015 7:15 am

    Great article. I have switched to full fat with all the fat enabled stuff out there now. It looks like your yogurt is low fat and you have skim milk in the buggy. What are your thought on what to buy?

  • Our carts do look pretty similar. Love to mix up all the grains.

  • NutButterRunner
    October 23, 2015 8:58 am

    It seems our carts look very similar! Including the “almond milk for me, skim milk for him” ๐Ÿ™‚ Add in “sweet potatoes for me” and “white potatoes for him” and we could do our shopping for one another ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I tend to buy the same things each week and mostly just salad bits to make my lunch for the week. I get a recipe/ingredients delivery box every other week (like the U.S. blue Apron thing?) so don’t need to buy too much each week. I always buy apples though ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Is that a recent picture with milk dated May?? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • shhhhh! You weren’t meant to notice that!!! I realized I wanted to do this post on Monday……but had already done our shopping for the week, this was all I had! Hehe you caught me!

  • We buy most of the same foods, too! Dark chocolate is a must for me- that satisfies my sweet tooth every day. I agree that organic is worth the extra expense. Especially now that I’m feeding kids, too!

  • Laura Anderson
    October 23, 2015 11:06 am

    I love seeing this, comparing (a lot of similar things to mine) and also gives me some great ideas going forward!

  • You can’t see me right now but I’m clapping. I love LOVE these posts where you give us a peek into your life as an elite runner!

  • Christine @ Love, Life, Surf
    October 23, 2015 11:41 am

    I love seeing what’s in your cart! And I love that it’s healthy but also that you love your sweets too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Martina Di Marco
    October 23, 2015 11:55 am

    So happy to see it looks pretty much like our shopping cart ๐Ÿ˜‰ We have sort of a set menu Monday-Thursday. That way, it’s easier to shop. The only difference is that, living in NYC, we don’t have a car and grocery shopping can be a pain sometimes… Good thing TJs is close to the subway station!

  • Always fun to see what other people buy at the supermarket! It think these posts are always fun…Have a great weekend Tina! XOXO

  • Yes, Tina! Lots of healthy food and carbs. I get basically the same thing each week for my husband and for me. I like to eat similar meals, but he prefers that we branch out a bit. Recently, we’ve been going out on Sunday specifically to get steaks for Sunday night, and I’m LOVING the extra red meat in my life. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend! Thanks for sharing your list!

  • I always enjoy these peeks into your life as an elite runner! My grocery cart is very similar. I’m so intrigued by your remark that you make your own ice creamโ€”you should share the recipe, please!

  • I feel very happy that I buy most all the same food that an elite runner does. Score!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Seriously, thanks so much for sharing friend! Always appreciate your awesome advice and insight. xo

  • Mmmm heath ice cream. Heath bars are actually one of my all-time favorites ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’m impressed! And I love that I see heath bar ice cream in there! We have a lot of the same staples I must say! I’m obsessed with the sweets and can’t give them up!

  • I so admire you for buying organic, fresh produce. I’m guilty of using frozen vegetables more often than not. But, it’s a step in the right direction from where I used to be – 2 years ago I didn’t eat any vegetables! At least my fruit is always fresh! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I think besides that, I’m similar in stocking my grains (but I’m not a fan of rice cakes! How do you do it?) and trying to eat meatless a few nights a week, using an alternate source of protein. & I love my sweets too – cookies or a slice of cake are my treats!

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