My absolute favorite grocery store is Trader Joe’s! I shop here at least once a week. I finally get to share with you the items I buy when I’m doing the Whole30 (and when I’m not). As a Whole30 Coach, I’ve read the labels and done a lot of the work for you. If I could shop for you, I would – I like Trader Joe’s that much!
Fortunately for me, there’s a Trader Joe’s nearby and they’re prices are more than fair, especially compared to some other stores specializing in organic foods. They also have foods I haven’t found at other stores such as spice mixes, dips and sauces.
The store is convenient for me since it’s not giant like some other grocery stores. I can get in and out quickly. It can get crowded however, so I try to shop when they first open on weekends.
For a special treat, I occasionally buy fresh flowers – they have a good sized selection at reasonable prices. Nothing brightens my kitchen like fresh flowers!
Note: I’d like to point out that I am in no way associated with Trader Joe’s and make no money from mentioning them. I’m just a fan!
Now, on to my favorites…
TJs has a wide selection of greens including salad mixes, kale, spinach, and various types of lettuces. I eat a salad for my lunch most days, and I mix up the types of greens I use. I appreciate that their organic produce is reasonably priced and often only slightly more than non-organic equivalents.
There’s also a Cruciferous Crunch mix (shown below) of cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, and broccoli that I use to make Egg Roll in a Bowl (I love this recipe by 40 Aprons) or I add dressing for a salad similar to coleslaw.
This section also has Green Goddess salad dressing that’s Whole30-compliant. It’s the only compliant salad dressing that I’ve found at TJs. You can also find a variety of fresh herbs in the produce section.
One of my favorite things about TJ’s produce section is all the convenience items. There are many types of prepped veggies – I add this Healthy 8 Veggie Mix to salads for crunch and flavor. This saves time when I’m in a hurry. It contains 8 different chopped veggies which would take me hours to prep.
There’s also a Mirepoix mix of chopped celery, carrots and onions that I add to meatballs, soups, ground meat, and egg “muffins”.
More favorite produce (pictured from top to bottom, left to right):
*Butternut Squash Zig Zags
*Sweet Potato Ribbons
*Mirepoix (mentioned above)
Bell peppers, leeks
* Items already prepped for you. These are huge time savers.
The prepped items may cost more but when I’m in a rush, it’s worth it to me because it helps me eat healthier. I only buy a couple prepped items each shopping trip – more on weeks I know I’ll be short on time and fewer when I have more time to prep. I also buy frozen produce (it’s already prepped) to save some money and time.
Can you tell my favorite section is the produce aisle? They have broccoli, cauliflower, and squash cut up, but I rarely buy these because it’s easy for me to prep them.
Other prepped items (shown top to bottom, left to right):
Sugar Snap Peas
*Butternut Squash Spirals
*Cut Spaghetti Squash
Other produce that I commonly buy include sweet potatoes, red potatoes, tomatoes, avocados (I especially like the bag of “teeny” avocados since they’re the right size for a single serving), and acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash.
I buy fruits in season, especially berries. In the winter I typically buy apples and citrus fruits. A drink I like is GTS Kombucha (gingerade and trilogy flavors).
I buy meat, seafood and eggs at TJs. They usually have fresh wild-caught salmon for a price close to their frozen salmon. The meat section has a variety of ground meats (I like to keep some browned ground meat in the freezer for emergency meals), various cuts of beef, pork, chicken and turkey. The meat selection changes from week-to-week.
There are many types of nuts, but you need to read the labels carefully. They often contain sugar or non-compliant oils. My favorites include almonds, walnuts, macadamia, and pecans. I sprinkle them on salads or roast them with veggies in the oven. They’re especially good with Brussel sprouts.
I keep these Chile Lime Chicken Burgers in my freezer for emergency meals – they’re quick and easy to heat up. Other quick to make frozen meats I keep on hand are Buffalo Burgers (not pre-cooked), Beef Burgers and Turkey Burgers. There’s also many frozen fruits and veggies that are compliant.
Some Whole-30 compliant pantry items are shown here. There are tons more that are compliant!
- Mixed Nut Butter, also almond butter, cashew butter. Remember no peanuts (they are legumes)
2. Coconut Oil, also Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Ghee.
3. Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning, also Mushroom Umami, 21 Seasonings Salute.
4. Coconut Cream, also canned Coconut Milk (light and regular)
6. Beef and Turkey Chomps Meat Sticks
7. Larabar – I usually don’t eat them during a Whole30 round but decided to get one in case of an emergency. I keep it in my car. Read ingredients carefully.
Other pantry items I purchase include canned tomatoes (whole, diced, and paste) for chili and other tomato-based recipes, garlic (fresh or minced in a jar), fresh ginger, olives, tahini, almond flour, and spices.
Remember to check the ingredients on the label. Happy Shopping!