Nutritionists Told Us All the Items to Stock Up on Before Thanksgiving

Welcome to our series #CartedByT30, where experts, influencers, and anyone who just really knows how to nail down a grocery list show us exactly what goes in their carts each week. Tune in to our Instagram Story on Sundays to walk down the aisle with them, and then shop the products here. This week, registered dietician Sarah Rueven shares all the foods she's purchasing before the Thanksgiving holiday.

As a registered dietitian and founder of Rooted Wellness, a private nutrition practice specializing in women’s health, I know just how important a little planning ahead can be for the busy woman on the go. To help you make healthy food decisions all week long, I recommend thoughtfully planning out your meals and making a trip to the store (or getting groceries delivered) at the beginning of each week.

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner, fill up on nutrient-dense foods this week so that you head into the holiday energized and feeling your best. I love shopping at Whole Foods, where I can find everything I need all in one place, including tons of organic produce. Keep reading for the staples I add to my cart every week, as well as the ingredients for a lightened-up dessert (pumpkin pie bars!) I’ll be making this Thanksgiving for my family.

I’m using almond flour to make the crust of the pumpkin pie bars. Almond flour is a great alternative to pastry flour or all-purpose flour in baked goods. It has more protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats than traditional flour.

I’ve also added ground flaxseeds to the crust of the pumpkin pie bars. Flaxseeds are an excellent source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They contain lignan, a compound that mimics estrogen in our body, and may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

I’m picking up coconut sugar for the pumpkin pie bars. Coconut sugar is made from coconut palm sap. It is comparable to regular sugar but has slightly more nutrients (like iron, zinc, and potassium) and contains fiber. However, don’t be fooled by the name; it’s still sugar, albeit a slightly more nutritious alternative.

I like to keep a few cans of pumpkin pureé in my pantry this time of year. One cup of pumpkin provides all of your daily vitamin A needs. Vitamin A is so important for a healthy immune system, which is one of the many reasons I love eating pumpkin and other seasonal squashes this time of year!

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Stocksy

I always pick up a loaf of whole wheat or sprouted grain bread. Whole-grain bread is an excellent source of fiber, which slows digestion and helps to keep you full. I top my bread with smashed avocado and an egg for a quick, nourishing breakfast on busy mornings.

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Stocksy

Avocados are a great source of fiber, potassium and monounstaurated fats. I recommend including a serving of healthy fat at each meal. Fat is the most satiating macronutrient so skimping on fat, often leads to overeating later on. This time of year, I love adding a few slices of avocado to soups and chilis in place of cheese.

No grocery run is complete without a carton of organic, pasture-raised eggs. I often hard-boil eggs at the beginning of the week for snacks or for adding to my salads as a protein-boost.

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Stocksy

You’ll always find some type of leafy green in my grocery cart to serve as the base for salads throughout the week. I like to switch it up and often rotate between kale, spinach, and arugula. Leafy greens are an excellent source of folate. Folate is critical for fertility and is needed in adequate amounts during pregnancy for the formation of the baby’s neural tube. If you are trying to conceive or expecting, including kale in your diet is a great way to boost your folate intake.

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Stocksy

For busy weeks like this one, I recommend picking up some pre-chopped veggies to cut back on prep time. I like roasting veggies in the oven in a little avocado oil, salt, and pepper—so simple yet very flavorful!

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Stocksy

Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Omega-3 intake is especially important during the prenatal time period and while breastfeeding to help support your baby’s brain development. Increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids is also associated with a decreased risk for postpartum depression.

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Stocksy

Buying a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken is another great busy weeknight savior. Serve the chicken with roasted veggies and a whole grain (like brown rice or farro), and you’ve got a super quick, delicious and nutritious meal.

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Stocksy

Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which can help strengthen your immune system this flu season! If buying all organic produce isn’t within budget, frozen organic produce is typically cheaper, and the difference in nutrient quantity is negligible.

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Stocksy

Greek yogurt makes a great protein-packed snack. Most of the flavored yogurts are full of added sugar, which is why I prefer to sweeten my yogurt with fresh fruit. If you are trying to conceive, I recommend choosing full-fat yogurt over skim milk yogurt. Studies have shown that women who consume more full-fat dairy products have a reduced risk of infertility.