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Grocery Shopping for Whole30

Posted Jan 04 2013 5:14pm

The typical comment I hear when someone finds out that I don’t eat grains is “what do you eat?” I think it’s sad and a bit funny that to some, the idea of food is pasta, bagels, bread, cereals, & rice. What’s funny about this whole thing is that I thought the same way. “What do you mean whole grains aren’t healthy?!” was literally the first thing that came out of my mouth when my friend Alan told me he was following a paleo lifestyle. “No pasta? Huh, what do you eat?” was exactly what I said to him.  I remember the next question that came out of my mouth was “What do you mean fat is good for me? I thought we needed a low-fat diet in order to be healthy and avoid heart attacks?” To say my world was rocked was an understatement. Not only had I taken nutrition in college, but I’ve recently taken grad classes in nutrition. Turns out grains are actually not that healthy and fat is necessary, it’s good for you, & helps to fill you up so don’t need to snack as frequently.

So what do I eat? What do I buy when I go grocery shopping?

My grocery cart from a small shopping for the 3 day work week from Stop & Shop.

My grocery cart from a small shopping for the 3 day work week from Stop & Shop.

These are the 2 big questions I have been getting since we announced the Whole30 challenge.  Basically, I shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Think produce section, meat and seafood department, dairy section (eggs and butter, and grass-fed whole milk for my kids), & the frozen food section (veggies and fruit). I very rarely need to shop the aisles in the supermarket. But when I do, it’s to buy items like:

  • olives: all varieties.
  • marinated items (artichokes, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.)
  • oils: coconut, avocado, macadamia, olive, palm shortening.
  • tomatoes: diced, paste, sauce, sun-dried, etc.
  • spices & minced garlic
  • flours (coconut & almond, arrowroot powder)
  • nuts & seeds (all varieties)
  • nut & seed butter (almond, cashew, sunflower.)
  • fruits (applesauce, pear sauce, dried fruit, shredded/flaked coconut, coconut manna)
  • canned fish (tuna, salmon, anchovies, etc.)
  • Milk (almond, coconut)
  • Coconut cream
  • jerky
  • condiments & sauces (mustards, relishes,  coconut aminos, gluten-free soy sauce & fish sauce, sriracha, vinegars, etc.)
  • tea (Yogi tea, especially my muscle recovery tea!)

    lots of eggs and frozen spinach are staples in my house.

    lots of eggs and frozen spinach are staples in my house.

This week was a 3-day work week for me and the pictures that you see are of my grocery cart from New Year’s day when I decided to do a small shopping to get through the rest of the week. The next day, Brent and I realized that we didn’t actually meal plan. Yes I went shopping, but we didn’t come up with a plan for dinners for the week. Oops, but not an epic fail. Realizing that I have a kick-butt chest freezer that is nicely stocked, I didn’t panic. I went to the freezer and pulled out chicken cacciatori and served it over the spaghetti squash that I cooked in the microwave. It was fantastic and really easy. Yesterday we pulled out meat balls in gravy and I ate that over the left over spaghetti squash. Were my dinners culinary masterpieces, no. But they were tasty, home-made, and easy to prepare considering we were unprepared.

Preparation is the key to eating healthy at all, especially eating a new way. Decide what you want to eat and plan your meals, grocery shop for any needed ingredients, and finally write the meals down in a common location so you don’t

My organizer in the kitchen. Central place to communicate and stay organized. This one is from Pottery Barn.

My organizer in the kitchen. Central place to communicate and stay organized. This one is from Pottery Barn.

forget. I have a white board in my kitchen that I use to write down meals and reminders. For example I mark which recipes are crock pots because that involves prep the night before or in the am before work, I mark which day of the week the recipe is to be cooked, where the recipe is located, or any special instructions.

So as you are wrapping your mind around starting a Whole30 challenge I recommend that you check out some paleo blogs for recipes, search pinterest, google “whole30 recipes” or just get creative tweaking an old standby recipe to make it Whole30 compliant. Here are some sites I use for recipes:

Have fun browsing through recipes and preparing your meals for next week! The big day is on Monday. I’ve been getting a head start with the Whole30 and I tell ya’, it’s only been a few days, but I already feel better and less bloated. I will say that I am having some cravings which is expected, but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be!

So are you in? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook. Or better yet update your status telling your friends and family what you are doing and tag us so we can support you! Put it out there so there is no takesey-backsey’s :-) You never know whom you might inspire!

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