Get out your shopping list!
A rule of thumb that we did not make up but completely agree with is to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where you will find all of the produce, fresh animal proteins, and dairy/non-dairy products. When you stick to the perimeter your cart will fill up with produce items. Then after walking around the perimeter you can fill up the remainder of your cart with pantry items found in the aisles (think: salad dressings, canned tuna/salmon, nuts and seeds, chocolate, tea, etc!).
This post breaks down our grocery store staples starting with the perimeter and finishing up with our favorite pantry items (and brands) found in the aisles.
Any fruit is approved by us but here are some of our favorites due to their fiber content, antioxidants, or properties that aid in digestion.
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) – great source of fiber and antioxidants
- Mango – rich in antioxidants and contains amylase a digestive enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates
- Papaya – rich in antioxidants and contains papain a digestive enzymes which break down proteins
- Kiwi – great source of fiber
- Banana – prebiotic when ripe
- Avocado – great source of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins and minerals
- Lemon – good source of vitamin C, and great to put on veggies to maximize iron absorption
- Apples – contains fiber, vitamin C, and other antioxidants, plus is hydrating!
- Pineapple – great source of manganese and Vitamin C among other antioxidants, plus contains bromelain a digestive enzyme that helps break down proteins
Let’s be clear we love ALL veggies, so do not feel limited to what is listed below! Veggies are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and other unique properties!
- Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, arugula) – full of vitamins and minerals
- Cruciferous Veggies (brussels, broccoli, cauliflower, ) – aids in detoxification
- Asparagus – is a prebiotic and contains folate
- Zucchini – hydrating and easy to digest
- Cucumber – hydrating and good source of Vitamin K
- Root Veggies (carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips) – loaded with antioxidants
- Sweet Potato and Japanese Sweet Potato (a personal fav!) – delicious, packed with nutrients and fiber
- Garlic – antibacterial properties
- Onion – rich in quercetin (a potent antioxidant and natural antihistamine)
A trick with fruits and veggies to make them more affordable and prevent them from going bad is to buy them frozen. They are frozen a few hours after harvesting to optimize their nutrients.
Spices are packed with antioxidants to help protect the body from stressors and excess inflammation, and are full of flavor!!
- Dill – contains flavonoids
- Cilantro – contains antioxidants
- Parsley – high in Vitamin C
- Rosemary – rich source of antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory
- Ginger – aids in digestion, reduces nausea, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties
- Cinnamon – may help with hormone and blood sugar balancing
We love seafood, it is both nutritious and delicious. However, not all seafood is created equal with a substantial difference between wild-caught and farmed fish (affecting omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, and more). Additionally, some fish like swordfish, bluefin tuna, and king mackerel are higher in mercury so we suggest keeping these to a minimum.
- Wild-caught salmon – great source of protein and omega 3’s
- Wild-caught shrimp – lean source of protein, contains selenium, choline, and vitamin b12
- Wild-caught cod – lean source of protein, contains b vitamins, phosphorus, and selenium
- Mahi Mahi – high in protein and low in fat, contains selenium and b vitamins
- Sardines – packed with omega 3’s (if you’ve never tried, give them a try and you may be surprised!)
Similarly to fruits and veggies, we find buying frozen seafood can be a great way to save some money and access higher-quality seafood.
Meat and Poultry
While we recommend clients stick to a plant-based diet, this does not mean we have them cut out animal products in total. We find high-quality sources of meat and poultry to be great sources of complete proteins and contain other beneficial nutrients like b vitamins, and iron as well.
- Organic chicken breast and thighs (a way more delicious alternative to chicken breast in my opinion)
- Organic whole chicken (a super easy and affordable way to buy chicken and roast it with tons of veggies so you are set for the week!)
- Organic grass-fed ground beef
- Organic ground turkey – good source of protein
- Organic chicken sausage (we love Applegate, Bilinski’s, ??)
- Organic organ meats – great source of B vitamins, iron,
We also love Wild-Planet canned tuna and salmon that test for mercury in every batch, making them an easy on-the-go option!
Eggs are packed with nutrients such as protein, healthy fat, Folate, Choline, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, and Vitamin D) making them a filling, nutritious, and delicious option! When it comes to eggs we opt for pasture-raised and organic when possible because they contain the most nutrients (btw do not be afraid of eating eggs because of cholesterol!).
Beans, Legumes, and Tofu
- Organic extra-firm – great source of vegan protein, easy to cook with taking on the flavor of spices/sauces
- Hummus (try to find one with olive oil or avocado oil, or tahini!) – a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat plus a great snack or add on to salads and sandwiches
- Lentils – great source of plant-based protein and fiber, plus contains b vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc
- Kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans – good source of protein and fiber, plus has zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and vitamins B1, B6, E, and K
Dairy and Non-Dairy Products
- Non-dairy milk (we love Malk, Elmhurst, Malibu Mylk, Three Trees) – try to skip the gums and emulsifiers and opt for organic when possible
- Organic greek yogurt (we love Maple Hill, Wallaby, Siggi’s) – try and skip the added sugars and instead spice it up with fresh
- Non-dairy yogurt (we love Siggi’s, Coconut Cult, Harmless Coconut) – try and skip the added sugars and instead spice it up with fresh fruit and cinnamon!
- Other good non-dairy brands: Miyokos, Violife, Kite Hill,
Nuts and Seeds
- Walnuts – good source of omega 3’s
- Almonds – good source of healthy fat, fiber, Vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium
- Brazil Nuts – great source of selenium
- Organic nut butters (look for no added sugars or oils)
- Chia Seeds – great source of fiber, omega 3’s, calcium, and magnesium
- Flax Seeds – good source of fiber, omega 3’s, phosphorus, and magnesium
- Hemp Seeds – good plant-based source of protein, potassium, magnesium, and iron
- Pumpkin Seeds – rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, iron, zinc, magnesium, and more!
When it comes to oils, we skip the refined oils (think: canola, rapeseed, safflower, vegetable, etc) and instead go for high-quality oils that have anti-inflammatory properties and are rich in antioxidants.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Unrefined Coconut Oil
- Organic Ghee
Check out this post to learn about what oils to use when!.
- Primal Kitchens Everything!
Breads, Crackers, Cereals, Mixes, and More!
Now onto the fun stuff – snacks! We look for as simple ingredients as possible that are gluten-free, dairy-free, and contain minimal added sugar!
- Base Culture Bread (frozen)
- Unbun Bread (frozen)
- Siete Tortillas
- Canyon Ranch Frozen Bread (frozen)
- Simple Mills Everything!
- Mary Ruth’s Seed Crackers
- Rice Cakes (we love Lundberg)
- Simple Mills Everything!
- Birch Benders Pancakes and Waffles
Cereals and Granola:
- Cereal (Magic Spoon Cereal, One Degree Sprouted Cereal, Forager
- Granola (Paleo Valley Granola, and Purely Elizabeth)
Rice, Pasta, Oats
- Organic brown or wild rice
- Organic oats (skip the instant oats, and added sugars, go for plain oats here!)
- Brown rice pasta (we love jovial)
- Chickpea pasta (we love tolerant)
- Lentil Pasta
- Seaweed snacks
- Grass-fed beef or turkey jerky
- Lesser Evil Popcorn
- Quinn Grain-Free Pretzels
- Siete Chips
- Bars (Rx, 88 Acres, GoMacro, Simple Mills)
- Bone Broth – great for the gut lining
Finally, we saved the best for last: dessert! For dessert products, we look for gluten-free, dairy-free, artificial sugar-free, and delicious!
- Evolved Chocolate
- Hu Chocolate
- UNREAL Chocolate
- So delicious ice cream
- Nada Moo ice cream
THE BOTTOM LINE
Our secret to grocery shopping is to stay on the perimeter, stock up on fruits and veggies, high-quality fats and proteins, keep ingredients simple, and do not forget a little something sweet and salty to keep you satisfied (and your taste buds happy).