Paleo Grocery Shopping & Food Guide
As someone that shares our family’s Paleo lifestyle and recipes, I get asked quite often about where I grocery shop, which foods I buy, brands I love, and more! I wanted to take the time to share this with all of you that are interested! Hopefully this blog post will be a guide for you and your family as you seek to make healthy food choices!
Our family follows a Paleo diet most of the time, however we will make modifications, especially when eating with friends, traveling, attending birthday parties, ect. We have found this diet to work best for our family based on food sensitivity testing, elimination diets, and being under the care of direction of our naturopathic doctor. If you suspect that you or someone in your family has food sensitivities or allergies I highly recommend finding a naturopathic doctor that can help you identify them. Removing dairy and gluten are also always a great place to start! I also am a big fan of the book It Starts With Food.
I have included a Paleo shopping list as a general guide below. This can be saved and printed out to assist you. There are many vegetables and fruits that aren’t listed that of course can be purchased, I just wanted to get you started. I have marked an * by some vegetables and fruits that are best to purchase organic. Organic is always the best option, but for savings you can choose to just purchase organic for fruits and vegetables with thinner skin. It is always important to purchase organic and grass fed meat, as well as wild caught seafood. Other things to look for when purchasing lunch meats and bacon are: nitrate free, check the ingredient list and avoid items with added sugar, and you can often find meats labeled now with Paleo or Whole30 approved labels.
We have recently begun purchasing all of our meat and salmon from Butcher Box, and I couldn’t be happier with the quality of the products. The taste and quality has far exceeded any organic or grass fed meats that I have purchased in stores. You can choose the types of meat, cuts, how much, and how often you’d like your box delivered. I do have an affiliate program with Butcher Box, where I am compensated for any referrals that I send their way. However, I only work with companies that I truly believe in and love! If you are interested in giving them a try you can use my promo code AP10 to get $10 off and free bacon in your first box HERE!
So where do I shop for produce and pantry items? I love supporting local farmer’s markets, but that is not where I purchase the bulk of our food. I will purchase at local markets when I can with what is available seasonally. However, most of my shopping is done at Sprouts. I will go to Trader Joe’s for certain items, and Costco for others. (I am planning to share a guide to my Costco paleo food items soon.) I will check ads when I can to see what sales are going on for savings, but I don’t have time to run around to four different stores every week. So I have found that Sprouts has what I need regularly at good prices. Amazon now also carries a variety of healthy pantry items that I will link down below.
Meal Planning & Prep
While this shopping list above is a great guide for getting started with a Paleo or gluten free diet, I do always recommend taking time to plan out your meals for the week along with a shopping list before going to the store. This happens best for me on either Saturday, Sunday or Monday. It just depends what we have going on that weekend.
When I meal plan I think through five dinners for the week. I leave out a couple nights for leftovers and if we decide to eat out. Crockpot or Instant Pot meals are great options for busier weeknights. If anything changes with our schedule and we need an additional meal, I typically fall back on a breakfast for dinner since we always have eggs, fruit and veggies on hand. This is also one meal that my husband enjoys cooking, and it is always nice to get a little break from the kitchen!
If you are just starting out with meal planning, I would focus on planning for dinners to start. You can eat your leftovers for lunch and simply stock up on breakfast items with a general idea of what you’ll be making that week. Once you’ve gotten used to planning for dinners you can start to put more thought into lunch and breakfast plans.
One habit that I have gotten into after doing all of my shopping is to wash my produce for the week. I use the Young Living Thieves Fruit and Veggie Soak, and it makes it so much more convenient to reach in and grab food that has already been washed. When I have time to do some prep (typically on Sunday) I will also chop veggies and store in glass containers for snacking and packing in lunches for the week. When making time to prep I also love to make my homemade paleo ranch dressing and paleo or gluten free muffins for breakfast and lunches. You can find some of my favorite muffin recipes by The Natural Nurturer HERE.
Grain-free flours can be a little tricky to work with and substitute with in recipes. Textures are different and take some time to get used to. I don’t share a lot of baking recipes because I am still trying to master the art of paleo baking! I have found the best success when I use great recipes from Paleo cookbooks, I love all of Danielle Walker’s books.
Almond Flour - I like to used blanched and finely ground almond flour for baking.
Arrowroot Powder - Great for thickening liquids like soups, and wonderful for baking as well. Can be substituted with tapioca starch.
Coconut Flour - This flour can be tricky to work with, as it is highly absorbent. I like using coconut flour in combination with arrowroot powder.
I stick to using four types of fats when cooking, avocado oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and ghee. I always look for organic and unrefined oils. One other option that I listed on the shopping list above and it great for baking is palm shortening.
Dairy free milks can be substituted pretty easily in most recipes. I will sometimes make my own homemade, or when I buy in store I always make sure to buy unsweetened options. Some of these include: almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, and macadamia nut milk.
When following a paleo diet you avoid any refined sweeteners, which you begin to realize are added to SO much! Some great options to substitute with are: coconut sugar, honey, and maple syrup. Make sure to purchase a pure maple syrup that does not contain any added ingredients.
Brands I Love
Here are some of the brands that I love for many of the items that I have already mentioned above. Most of these items can be found in health food stores, however I have also provided links to almost all of them on Amazon!
Apple Cider Vinegar - Braggs
Coconut Aminos - Big Tree Farms
Ketchup - Sir Kensington’s
Mayo - Primal Kitchen
Palm Shortening: Nutiva
Tomatoes - Pomi (these are great because they are not stored in cans, which can contain BPA)
Organic & Grass Fed Meats - Butcher Box (they also offer wild caught salmon seasonally when available)
Gelatin Powder & Collagen Peptides - Sports Research
Arrowroot Powder -Bob’s Red Mill
Cacao Powder - Nutiva
Chia Seeds - Nutiva
Chocolate Chips - Enjoy Life
Coconut Flour -Nutiva
Coconut Milk -Native Forest
Coconut Oil -Nutiva
Coconut Sugar -Nutiva
Hemp Seeds - Nutiva
Pancake Mix - Birch Benders Paleo Pancake Mix (also available at Sprouts & Costco)
CHOMPS TURKEY STICKS (can also be found at Trader Joe’s)
GOJI BERRIES BY NUTIVA
RX BARS DARK CHOCOLATE SEA SALT
SIETE TORTILLA CHIPS (also available at Sprouts & Costco)
Club Soda - La Croix (key lime is my favorite flavor, available at Super Target Stores)
Coffee Creamer - Nut Pods
Kombucha - GTS (fermented foods have tons of gut health benefits, GTS also sells a coconut kefir available at health food stores for an extra probiotic boost)
Tea - Organic India (my favorite is the Tulsi Sleep to sip before bedtime)
I hope that this post was helpful. I know that navigating food sensitivities and restrictions can be very overwhelming. I believe that any changes you are able to make that are moving you in the right direction are worth it. Even if you can’t do it all, it is still putting you in a healthier position to do what you can.