What to buy, exactly?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 29, 2013 at 3:16 AM

Hi all,

I'm new to the Paleo scene, and I totally get it. My trouble is shopping. I feel overwhelmed going into Whole Foods. There just seem to be so many options, and I feel like I spent half my day there and only bought about 7 things! For instance, buying eggs...there was organic, organic cage free, organic free range, organic free range no soy!!!

Can you all give me some brands that you buy? What are your favorite eggs, milk, meats, bacon, etc?

Thanks in advance!

Animal Nurse



on January 29, 2013
at 04:46 PM

If most of your food has labels, you're probably doing it wrong. ;-)



on January 29, 2013
at 01:23 PM

The Whole30 have a good sample list http://whole9life.com/book/ISWF-Shopping-List.pdf



on January 29, 2013
at 04:14 AM

I would get organic free range no soy. Free range is always better than organic.

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7 Answers

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on January 29, 2013
at 03:57 AM

Hey Animal Nurse and welcome to PaleoHacks! This question has been asked ad nauseum. At the top right corner, you will see a search box and in it, you can type in keywords to find similar questions. For this question, you could type in "shopping list."

But I'll entertain your question. Here's my shopping list (and I'll include brands since you asked):

Meats: beef, bison, lamb, chicken, pork. I get grass-fed when I can, but meat at Whole Foods is known to be "three-fourths grass-fed" meaning they're corn/grain-finished but also hormone/antibiotic-free. That is a lot better than regular CAFO meat. For bacon, I get Applegate Farms or Wellshire Farms (organic), but sometimes I'll get the Whole Foods' 365 brand which is non-organic.

Seafood: salmon, Chilean sea-bass, cod, shrimp, scallops, oysters.

Fats/Oils: Nature's Way coconut oil; Purity Farms organic ghee; Kerrygold grass-fed butter; 365 organic EVOO

Dairy: Naked Goat raw goat cheese; Claravale Farm raw milk (not found at WF)

Eggs: Vital Farms pastured eggs (if I can afford it); other than that, I don't really have a preference for brand but I try to get ones that are organic, hormone/antibiotic-free, with omega-3s. I like to refer to this egg scorecard to see which farms produce good eggs.

Vegetables: try to get organic when possible but I'm also a big fan of frozen veggies.

Miscellaneous: I like Spice Hunter spices, Himalania sea salt, and raw nuts.

Hope this helped! Whole Foods IS overwhelming.


on January 29, 2013
at 01:14 PM

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!


on January 29, 2013
at 06:41 PM

Shopping at Wholefoods for years, I think I've only found 7 or 8 things myself that are worth solely buying there. Granted those items have changed over the years.

Current whole foods shopping list:

  • Organic potatoes/sweet potatoes

  • Bananas

  • Avocados
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Organic Valley cream (for butter making)
  • Niman Ranch Bacon
  • Grassfed leg of lamb < $10/lb.
  • Grassfed beef liver
  • Cuts of meat < $10/lb.

I usually buy some fresh veggies there, things like vitamins and toothpaste. Never chicken, not sure why but their chicken is always nasty. Oh, and eggs, you'll do better at a small grocery store that carries some local egg producer's eggs.



on January 29, 2013
at 04:39 PM

Shop on the outside of the grocery store, and skip the isles for the most part. That's all processed food generally.

Look for a local butcher that carries meat grown locally and organically and is grass fed (beef and lamb).

If you can find a farm close to your house that has pastured eggs, buy direct from them. You will save lots of money and support your local farmer!

Look for a local CSA farm for your vegetables. This is where you buy a small share of a farm's annual crop, they usually deliver or you pick up from a drop point near you. Every week you will get veggies that are fresh, and picked at the height of ripeness.

Good luck!



on January 29, 2013
at 04:17 AM

Use a simple formula:

  1. Protein - pick your favorite protein, make sure you mix some fish, meat on a bone with some fat and organ meat.

  2. Vegetables - make sure to buy organic. 1. Greens 2. Rainbow colors 3. Sulfur-rich.

  3. Fruit - organic berries.

  4. Sweet potatoes if you work out.

You are done!

You can always buy yourself a treat after this. Like one piece of fruit you have always wanted .


on January 29, 2013
at 03:32 AM

I would suggest to keep reading your resources, because shopping is half the fun (foraging).

check out sites like robbwolf and marksdailyapple for recipe ideas and you'll start to get the idea of what to buy and what to skip.

Read your labels!

as long as the beef is grass-fed the greens are organic and the butter is no salt grass-fed (kerrygold) you'll be off to a good start

You'll have to do a lot of research on company websites to find the best price items that aren't just using marketing tricks.



on January 29, 2013
at 04:46 PM

If most of your food has labels, you're probably doing it wrong. ;-)



on January 29, 2013
at 04:01 AM


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