For most people, trying out a Whole30 diet means a total overhaul in grocery shopping, pantry stocking, and meal planning and prep. It can feel like you’re starting a new job with all you have to learn and re-learn!
But it doesn’t have to feel impossible to reach success – observing others’ Whole30 meal planning and using this handy shopping list to keep the right foods stocked throughout your Whole30 will keep temptations at bay and increase your chances of seeing the positive change you want to see!
The biggest challenges most people encounter when trying to stick to any restrictive elimination diet such as a Whole30 include temptations to snack on off-plan foods, hunger and wanting something to eat quickly but having nothing on-plan prepared, and simply not knowing how to juggle it all and cook too.
A really good grocery shopping trip before you start the diet and halfway through (at minimum) can reduce your meal planning stress and increase your chances of making it the whole 30 days. You need to stock up on plenty of vegetables, the right protein, a few ways to add flavor to your meals, some snacks (if you’re doing snacks; many don’t if you’re not working out), and some easy-to-grab foods for those times when you just aren’t prepared for a meal.
What is a Whole30?
You can read all the program rules here, but in a nutshell, Whole30 dieters avoid:
- all grains, including corn and quinoa
- all legumes, including soy
- all dairy, including yogurt
- all sugar, even artificial no-calorie sweeteners
- all alcohol (even vanilla extract)
- any baking or baked goods, even with Whole30 compliant ingredients (to break cravings)
For the purposes of:
- reducing inflammation
- losing weight
- healing the gut
- identifying food sensitivities
- balancing blood sugar
- killing food cravings
- training the palate to dislike sugar and love vegetables
It’s not meant to be a new lifestyle or anything sustainable, but a first step on a healing journey, a system reset of sorts. The Whole30 program tells you it’s not hard — but many people will say the opposite. I’ll make it a little easier for you today by sharing what my husband and I found most helpful to have on hand during our yearly Whole30 reset.
First, I want to share a story from Robyn, a team member here at KS, who found another helpful tool for her own inaugural Whole30 last fall:
I needed help…fast! Enter Real Plans, an online meal planning service that has a special Whole30 upgrade. The software plans your entire week for you, generates a shopping list, AND makes sure everything is Whole30 compliant. It’s very customizable to your tastes and lifestyle (for example, I quickly learned I had to uncheck the box for “lamb,” a meat I just don’t source or eat).
For the most part, I let Real plans pick out my dinners, moving them around to best fit my schedule and eating leftovers the next day for breakfast or lunch. After the first week, I found several recipes I loved. I repeated favorite recipes each week and continued to let Real Plans pick out the remainder of my dinners for the month.
Having the app on my phone was a HUGE lifesaver. Previously, I did all my meal planning on paper (I’m old school like that!) but honestly I would sometimes forget what was for dinner and not have things defrosted or purchased. I always have my phone close by, so I easily could figure out if I needed to prep something or grab an ingredient at the store. Plus you don’t need a separate shopping list because it’s all in the app!”
You can add anything to your Real Plans app, and I’d recommend making sure you have all or most of this list on hand to make your eggs for breakfast and salads for lunch more exciting and varied (and delicious!). I made this list for myself last year, knowing I could refer to it each Lent when we tackled a system reset diet, but I thought it would be helpful for others as well!
Grocery Shopping List for Whole30 Success
- Tomatoes, Cherry tomatoes
- Red and White Onions
- Green onions
- Cauliflower (try colors!)
- Pea Pods
- Zucchini (try zoodles!)
- Other greens (kale, Swiss chard, spinach, boy choy – frozen and fresh)
- Sweet potatoes
- Spaghetti squash
- Frozen vegs: broccoli, green beans
- Other veggie options include: parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, fennel, celery root, leeks
- Lemons, limes
- Frozen berries
- Other whole fruits, especially green apples
- Frank’s hot sauce
- White, red, balsamic and apple cider vinegars
- Olives (check ingredients)
- Coconut oil (tallow, ghee)
- Shredded coconut
- Coconut milk
- Spaghetti sauce with no sugar
- Canned tomato sauce, paste, diced tomatoes (check ingredients for sugar)
- Homemade chicken stock
- Ground meat (beef, pork, chicken)
- Whole chicken
- Chicken thighs
- Chicken breasts
- Frozen wild salmon
- Canned wild salmon
- Canned tuna fish
- Well-sourced sausages without sweetener or corn filler (ALDI and Costco often have them, but read ingredients)
- Chuck roast
- Pork shoulder roast
- Splurge sometimes on prosciutto or Whole30 approved bacon
- Nuts of all kinds (make into crispy nuts)
- Nut butters
- Dried fruits (remember not too many)
- Fennel spices etc. in spices for sausage seasoning
- Adobo spices for homemade guacamole
Paleovalley Meat Sticks
It can be hard to find healthy snacks that you can take with you on the go. When I want the convenience of a jerky stick, but want a healthy, protein packed snack option, I grab Paleovalley meat sticks. Paleovalley ingredients have these high standards that you can feel good about:
- 100% Grass Fed Beef & 100% Pasture Raised Turkey
- Never given antibiotics or hormones
- Gluten free, soy free, dairy free
- 0 grams of sugar*
- Contains no artificial nitrates or nitrites
- Naturally fermented and contain gut-friendly probiotics!
*With the exception of Teriyaki, which contains 2 grams of sugar from Organic Honey.
These beef sticks and turkey sticks taste delicious! My favorite is the Jalapeño but my kids love Summer Sausage.
Having these homemade items on hand will make life much easier:
- Homemade mayo
- Caesar dressing (just skip the Parm)
- Italian dressing
- Pre-chop veggies all at once for salads
And you can use all this food to make:
- creative egg scrambles
- coconut milk smoothies with collagen
- a new salad every day
- varied side dish veggies (you’ll want 2 at every dinner)
- soups with homemade broth
- main dish meats, roasts, shredded meat, etc
You really can make dozens if not hundreds of combinations and meals with these ingredients, improve your health and enjoy the pleasures of eating real, wholesome foods. PLUS hopefully you’ll have enough in your arsenal to resist temptation and successfully get through the entire Whole30!
Printable Whole30 Shopping List
Need some help getting started? Grab your free Whole30 shopping list to make your shopping easy!
More Whole30 Info:
- Whole30 (and anti-cavity) Rookie Meal Plan
- Whole30 Veggie Side Dish Ideas and Meal Plans
- Tastes like Pizza Breakfast Hash (Whole30 compliant)
- Whole30 Instant Pot Boneless Pork Rib Recipe
- Whole30 Failure Story: Didn’t Help my Friend’s Hashimoto’s
- Whole30 Failure Story: Too Hard for Bachelor to Manage
- Easy BBQ Chicken for Instant Pot or Slow Cooker (no sweetener)
- Whole30 Grocery Shopping List to Stock Up for Success