Or, alternatively titled, The Whole30 Grocery Shopping Survival Guide!
Good afternoon, friends! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I spent the day yesterday baking some cupcakes for New Year’s Eve (check out my Instagram!), working out (last Crossfit workout of 2016 – so pumped to keep it going in 2017!) and spending the night with some of my best friends ringing in 2017 (nothing better than being surrounded by people you love to ring in the New Year)!
Now it’s officially 2017, and I’m ready to round up all my thoughts on Whole30 grocery shopping after a truly epic Trader Joe’s run on Friday. I’m so excited to get this round started tomorrow!
Ah, yes, the mythical and magical land of Trader Joe’s. I love it so much, but live 30 minutes away, so I don’t get there often. But with a Whole30 coming up, I figured it’d be the perfect time to take the trek.
Two thoughts before we begin: this grocery shopping list / thoughts are not specific to Trader Joe’s. Most of these items can be found at your local stores, or ordered online, if you don’t live close to a Trader Joe’s, don’t fret. And second, none of this is sponsored, these are all just things I like.
So, when gearing up for a Whole30 shopping trip, here’s my general thoughts for success and all of my favorite things!
- FIRST AND FOREMOST – ALL OF THE VEGGIES (AND SOME FRUIT):
Start in the produce section and overbuy on the veggies. Seriously. Prep tons of veggies once a week and your life on Whole30 will be so much easier. You will go through them way quicker than you thought you would and veggies are relatively quick and easy to prepare. Make a big mix of veggies on a sheet pan, drizzle with oil and season well, and roast them. While those are cooking, stir fry from cauliflower rice and/or shaved brussels. I love to cook my cauliflower rice with coconut aminos and my shaved brussels with some bacon fat. Yum! Once you’ve filled up with veggies, get some fruits too. I love apples!
- GRAB SOME FERMENTED GOODIES:
Since my first Whole30 last March, I’ve realized I love sauerkraut. So much. I know leaky gut can be a big problem for people with autoimmune diseases, and since educating myself on that, I’ve tried to up my probiotic intake. Fermented foods are good for your tummy, and they make me feel good. Plus, they can add some great flavor to meals.
- WHOLE30 COMPLIANT BEVERAGES FTW:
Some compliant Whole30 drinks can be a lifesaver when doing a round, especially if your diet before Whole30 was full of soda or other drinks with added sugar. Seltzer in particular can be amazing when you’re craving some fizz – Spindrift (pictured) and LaCroix are Whole30 compliant, delicious, and available at most stores. I also love coconut water, which can be really great after a tough workout, kombucha (yay fermentation – see above! GTs is compliant, but make sure the brand you’re buying doesn’t have added sugar added after fermentation), and some fun teas to help out after dinner when the Sugar Dragon is screaming for a treat.
- FROZEN STAPLES TO THE RESCUE:
One of my favorite parts of Trader Joe’s is their freezer section (I doubt I’m alone here). Most notably, I’m obsessed with their burger selection – so many fun burgers, all of these pictured are Whole30 compliant! They’re so easy to defrost and cook up quickly on a busy weeknight. Also quick to defrost and cook on a busy night – seafood options! I picked up some fish, scallops, and shrimp. Frozen veggies and ground beef are great in a pinch too. Don’t be afraid to load up on compliant frozen options that are easy and simple to cook. Whole30 is about simple, good eating – trying new recipes are fun but not every night has to be an episode of Top Chef (sidenote – how good is Top Chef!? Obsessed).
- Speaking of emergency food… RXBARS = LIFE:
Don’t rely on things like RxBars or Larabars all the time during your Whole30 instead of eating a meal of real, whole foods, but for pete’s sake, leave one in your work bag or purse or gym bag for emergencies! You don’t want to give up on your Whole30 because on Day 15, you unexpectedly had to work late and the only thing there was to eat was cookies someone brought in, and you’re starving, so clearly you’re not thinking straight. Whole30 success is planning ahead of these disasters. So compliant snack/meal bars can be key!
- FRUIT JUICE TO ADD FLAVOR:
100% fruit juices with no added sweeteners can be a great way to add flavor to sauces and dressings, and is a compliant option. Throwing some sweet and tart cherry juice into a balsamic dressing can liven it up and mixing things up with flavor can help you not get bored during your Whole30.
- And finally, the most important thing: JUST READ YOUR LABELS.
Like I said, none of this is Trader Joe’s specific, and even brands you know are Whole30 partners can have non-compliant options. For example, I picked up the Epic Bison Cranberry bar, thinking, “Oh sweet, I love Epic bars, and I need some emergency protein sources,” and completely forgot that the bison option is not compliant (it has brown sugar in it!). Also, when grabbing the coconut water, I had to read a few labels to find one without added sugar. If there’s one thing that my first Whole30 round taught me, it’s that sugar is in EVERYTHING. Seriously. Everything. No matter where you’re shopping to prep for your Whole30, read every label. I even checked all the frozen veggies, because you never know (soy is a sneaky one too that tends to be in more than you expect).
I hope some of this has been helpful guys! Now go and fill those shopping carts – January Whole30 starts tomorrow! Let’s make 2017 the best yet!!