So you’re ready to start the Whole30. You’ve read the beginner’s guide, tossed the chips and chocolate in the trash, and are committed to cutting out all processed foods for the next 30 days. You go! If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, we’re here to tell ya that it’s actually way more straightforward than you think. Take a look at this list of Whole-approved foods and find out where you can find them so you can get your kitchen (and yourself) ready for success.
Meat and Poultry
You’ll be eating plenty of meat, chicken, steak, lamb, pork, etc. as the main part of your meals. Make sure to choose high-quality, unprocessed meats without any added sugar or preservatives like MSG. These types of meats are available at most grocery stores, but you may need to pay a premium for the better quality. If you’re close to a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, those are great options. And don’t forget to visit the farmer’s market or your local butcher shop so the butcher can tell you a few things about selecting your meats.
Since meat and chicken every single night sound boring, you can stock up on fish, shellfish, and other seafoods that are all Whole30-friendly to up the excitement factor. Wild-caught seafood is best, so look at the labels when you go to your grocery store, and seek out a local fish market if you have one close by so you can ask them where the fish came from.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll be eating eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner while on the Whole30. And you’re in luck because they are easy to find at any grocery store, farmer’s market, and even convenience stores when you’re in a pinch. Organic, free-range, and pasture-raised are the best options if you’re looking for quality.
You can eat alllll the veggies you want—even potatoes are allowed as long as they’re not processed into chips or fries. Any farmer’s market or grocery store will have tons of options for you to choose from. Remember, don’t ignore the seasons: There’s a reason strawberries taste 10 times better in summer than they do in winter.
Whole30 challenges you to limit your sugar intake (even the natural stuff), but you can enjoy fruit in moderation. Like veggies, you can pick up all of your favorite nature’s candies at farmer’s markets, grocery stores, and even some convenience stores. Berries and avocados will probably make regular appearances in your cart.
Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, and ghee will be your best pals when it comes to cooking, adding flavor, or dressing a salad. All of these fats are available in major grocery stores or specialty health food stores. You can also check out Amazon for some good deals.
Nuts and Nut Butters
Don’t go too nuts on the nut consumption, but keep some almonds, walnuts, pistachios, or macadamia nuts on had to grab when you’re on the go or to add to your salad for some protein when you’re sick of chicken. Look for nuts and nut butter in the bulk section of all grocery stores to help cut costs or look on Amazon for lower prices.
Sorry, we’re not talking about booze. But club soda, sparkling water, and kombucha can make you feel like you’re drinking a cocktail while on the Whole30. You can find all of these pretty much anywhere (even kombucha is going mainstream). And of course, drink plenty of water.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are an easy way to add flavor without adding extra calories or sugar, so load up on them at your local grocery store, bulk store, or farmer’s markets. And don’t be afraid to change up your go-to grilled chicken recipe with a new spice so you don’t bore your taste buds to death.
Most pulses are outlawed on the Whole30, but “pod” beans like green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas are A-OK and easy to find at farmer’s markets and any major grocery store.
All kinds of vinegar, like white, apple cider, balsamic, red wine, and rice, are a great way to add flavor to your Whole30 meals. Pick them up at all grocery stores, convenience stores, and specialty health food stores.
Aminos (a.k.a. a brewed and naturally fermented soy sauce substitute) is a great way to add that umami flavor to meals without the gluten typically found in soy (if you didn’t already know this, soy-based products are off-limits). You can find coconut aminos in the organic section of grocery stores like Whole Foods, specialty health food stores, or on Amazon.
While salt is allowed on Whole30, you’ll want to read the label since some iodized table versions contain sugar (yes, really). You can find pure sea salt in health food stores, most major grocery stores, and Amazon.