For anyone who hasn’t done paleo, Whole30 or similar programs before, you probably don’t have a lot of compliant items in your pantry (except for cooking spices, which is literally your hail-mary for flavoring everything). Even though I was eating pretty healthy/clean during the week before my Whole30, I still was using or eating non-compliant items such as soy sauce, almond milk, vegetable oil, popcorn (oh my, i do miss this), oatmeal, low fat cheese, etc. This led me to having to read all the labels and seeing what ingredients were in each. Seriously. Read your labels. Not just when you’re on Whole30 or any lifestyle diet program.. just in general if you want to live a good age. You’ll be surprised how much junk is in a lot of items and going into our bodies! It also made it easier for me to avoid certain foods that I might have wanted to eat when I read that there was a bunch of sugar, or ugly unpronounceable things. The ingredient lists are ordered by the most amount first. So I was dying a few months ago when I saw that, what I thought was a healthier breakfast pairing with my greek yogurt – Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey granola protein, had sugar as it’s second ingredient… yikes. And syrup. and starch.
Watching the documentary “Fed Up”, which talks about the childhood obesity epidemic in America (I believe it is still on Netflix), actually showed me the importance of reading labels. Just because it is marketed as “healthy” or “low fat”, doesn’t mean squat. It probably means that while they reduced the fat, they doubled the sugar to still make it taste good.
So, before and throughout my first Whole30 program, I’ve been reading and gathering different things from the different stores near me to add to my “paleo” pantry, which I intend to maintain as after my Whole30, I plan to switch to a paleo lifestyle 90% of the time (sorry, but a girl’s gotta get her NYC foodie fix – and my life would literally be miserable if I didn’t). Here’s what I gathered on my shopping haul during the first two (or technically 3, since i failed the first one) weeks!
I love TJ for carrying many paleo and Whole30 compliant items, at decent prices. I’m glad that I didn’t have to resort to somewhere like WholeFoods yet to get some stuff.
- Cut and Peeled Carrots
- Raw and Crunchy Almond Butter (addicting.. beware)
- Clarified Butter (Ghee)
- Plantain Chips (addicting I hear, but haven’t needed to resort to these yet)
- Organic Coconut Flour
- Raw Whole Cashews (addicting.. beware)
- Unsalted and Dry Roasted Silvered Almonds (great for my salads)
- Avocado’s Number Guacamole (i bought this to use on my burgers but they go bad pretty quickly once the package is opened, so I probably wouldn’t buy this again)
- Tahini Sauce
- Serrano Salsa Fresco
- (Not pictured) Almond Meal
- (Pictured below with other sauces) Red Hook Fish Sauce
- (Separately pictured immediately below) Turkey Burgers
I had bought Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausages (pack of 5 for $5.99) from Stop & Shop the first week; they were delicious, but pretty darn expensive, so I couldn’t keep that up anymore. Luckily, I found a decent alternative at BJ’s with Applegate’s Natural Uncured Beef & Pork Hot Dogs. 16 hot dogs for about $8.99 (I think, around that). Not cheap but doable. I would just eat one for breakfast since it’s quick to make, or throw it into an omelette.
Sauces (Various Stores)
From left to right:
1. Coconut Secret Organic Raw Coconut Aminos as your soy-sauce alternative. I’m obsessed. Bought for $4.70 at Jet.com (2 day delivery)
2. Red Boat Fish Sauce – cheapest I found was at Trader Joe’s for I think around $4-$5.
3. Marukan Rice Vinegar – Read the label as many rice vinegars have added sugars. I got this at my local asian supermarket but I did see some Marukan rice vinegars at my local Stop & Shop as well.
From left to right:
1. Frank’s Red Hot Original Hot Sauce – I made buffalo chicken wings with this during Whole30 Week 1’s redo. Bought at Stop & Shop but majority of stores carry this.
2. Mezzetta Napa Valley Homemade Marinara – Found this a local Stop & Shop.
3. Lou Ana 100% Pure Coconut Oil – $4.99 at my local Stop & Shop. I cook pretty much all my foods with this.
Grocery shopping for healthy foods can get expensive for sure. I cannot afford to always eat organic this and uncaged, grass-fed, blah blah that. I’m not trying to do (and have probably already failed at it) a perfect Whole30, so I give myself some leeway buying regular produce. I’ve also started to plan my meals off of what was on sale at the grocery stores, and shopping around different stores near me (or online with quick delivery such as Amazon prime or Jet) for the best prices on stuff. And if a recipe calls for something that I know I won’t really ever use, I won’t make that recipe. Or I’ll just omit it.
Let me know if you have any questions, or tips on shopping for a healthy pantry.
Till next time,