No grains, no dairy, no soy, no legumes…
Good lord, what’s left?!
Look, I know it seems super restrictive…and it is. But there are still a lot of foods you can eat during the Whole30… Some that might really surprise you. And trust me, if you have never had homemade mayonnaise (approved and encouraged), get ready. You might be tempted to eat it straight from the jar…
Just me? Well ok, then. Moving on…
You’ll have to do more than just make a simple grocery list. Reading labels is absolutely necessary…Extra sugar can be hiding in some sneaky places, and it goes by so many names that it can be easy to miss. Check out this handy guide to extra sugars on the Whole30 site to know what you’re looking for. Other stuff to watch for: soy, peanut oil, MSG, and dairy. With the exception of items like vinegar, pickles, and canned veggies, you’ll be shopping the perimeter of the store. Don’t even bother going down the bread aisle. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
Now that you have an idea of what to stay away from, let’s talk about what you’re looking for… Starting with protein, look for wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, and eggs (LOTS of eggs). The book suggests sticking with organic if possible, but it’s not necessary. If you go for processed meats (bacon, deli meat, sausage), get grass fed, organic, with no added sugar, MSG, sulfites, or carrageenan. The Whole30 book includes a recipe for breakfast sausage that looks pretty tasty, so I would suggest trying that before driving yourself nuts looking for compliant, packaged sausage.
But, hey! You can have bacon! So far, so good, right?
You’ll be buying tons of fruits and vegetables… From apples to zucchini, there aren’t a ton of restrictions here. Fresh is best, but frozen is more cost-effective and more consistent in quality. Canned veggies are allowed, but I’d keep that as a last resort. Just stay away from beans, because they aren’t allowed!
Healthy fats are not only welcome, but encouraged during the Whole30…Your body needs to get energy somehow! Cooking fats like animal fats, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and Ghee are all recommended (Ghee will change your life, I promise). For eating, try avocados, cashews or cashew butter, coconut (not the sweetened stuff!), and olives. One thing I do want to mention… check the ingredients on cashews or other compliant nuts. I have found that raw cashews are fine, but most roasted nuts list peanut oil in the ingredients. You might like the taste them raw, and roasting them yourself is pretty easy.
Most common herbs and spices are Whole30 approved, including salt! Just steer clear of pre-made spice mixes, and read your labels. Some packaged herbs and spices contain non-compliant ingredients. I just bought a jar of garlic powder, only to find it contains sugar! Super lame.
To stock your pantry, look for vinegars like red wine, rice, and white. I didn’t have luck finding any beef or chicken broth that was compliant, so I plan to make my own…but packaged broth is fine as long as it contains no added sugar or other off-limits stuff. Canned salmon and tuna, dill pickles, capers, hot sauce, tomatoes, sesame oil, and roasted red peppers are also on the list.
As for drinks, I stick with water. There are a few options, though, if you need more variety. Apple cider, coconut water, coffee (yes, coffee!), tea, and fruit and vegetable juices are all allowed (though juices aren’t encouraged in large amounts). Just read your labels, and don’t add a bunch of stuff to your coffee. Yes, there are soy- and dairy- free creamers out there. No, they aren’t allowed. I happen to think black coffee is delicious, even though I don’t drink it anymore. Give it a few days and see what you think!
I made a video when I got home from my big Whole30 shopping trip, so you can see what I purchased for the first few meals. I know people say that eating healthy foods is expensive, but I was able to purchase everything in the video for just at $70.00. If your store has a perks card, sign up for it. Watch the weekly adds and plan your meals accordingly. Purchase meat when it’s on sale and freeze it.
There are also a lot of ways you can use your everyday shopping to actually make money back. I have a few apps on my phone that I love, and I’ll share those with you soon!
For a more complete shopping list, and a ton of other awesome resources, check out the Whole30 Downloads page.
There you have it! What were you most surprised to see on the Whole30 approved list? Let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll be notified of new posts. I’ll be sharing an awesome whole-body workout soon!