Be it Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or Costco (coming soon!), everyone has their go-to grocery store and everyone has their go-to items they purchase there. Whether it’s that jar of peanut butter or carton of eggs, there are a few things we never leave the store without. Well, to re-orient what we’re purchasing we recruited Lindsay, of Weeknight Bite. She’s helping us ensure we pick out the best options at the grocery store – and keep re-picking them. With a nutritionist’s grocery list to Whole Foods you have that little angel on your shoulder helping you put the right things in your cart. Yes, even Whole Foods has items you should avoid (seriously!).
Here, we walk you through the entire store, section by section, and show you the produce, packages, and more you should be on the hunt for. Ingrain these images in your mind and pin the grocery list for easy reference! Once you have the hang of reading ingredient labels and choosing healthy essentials, you will feel better about what foods you are eating and what you are spending them.
Lindsay says, “I buy organic as much as I can (but always for the EWG dirty dozen).” Here are her favorite selections from the produce section:
- Sumer stone fruit: peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums, apricots
- Lemons and limes
- Cherry tomatoes and tomatoes on the vine
- Persian cucumbers
- Greens for salads or smoothies – arugula, spinach, spring mix
- Tuscan kale bunches
- Microgreens – These are perfect for adding into smoothies (just a pinch!). My go-to is broccoli sprouts, which are high in sulforaphane, an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer molecule.
- Easter radishes – These are fun to add to salads, tacos, or veggie platters for a pop of color
- Broccolini / baby broccoli
- Bok choy
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
- Heirloom Carrots (love the colorful ones!)
- Love Beets organic pre-cooked beets
- Snap peas
- Snow peas
- Herbs – I always have fresh mint on hand for making spa water, fresh mint tea, or for adding into my mint chip smoothie!
- Pre-chopped fruits & veggies: Whole Foods sells fresh zucchini noodles, carrot noodles, beet noodles, and sweet potato noodles that have already been spiralized! Pre-chopped veggies like jicama are also great for grab & go snacking, and chopped mirepoix (carrots/onions/celery) is a quick and easy starter for soups.
Refrigerated packaged goods
- Unsweetened Almond Milk – My favorite brands are Califia Farms and New Barn (tip: always make sure your almond milk is carrageenan-free!)
- Hummus: My go-to brand is HOPE Hummus
- Organic yogurt – Siggi’s is a great brand, as is Green Valley Organics (which is my go-to since it’s lactose-free!). Tip: buy plain yogurt to avoid all the added sugar and add your own fruit or granola to it!
- Kite Hill Cheeses (Original, Truffle Dill & Chive, Ricotta) – They are dairy-free and made from almond milk!
- Siete Foods tortillas – These are definitely one of my top 5 Whole Foods products and a perfect swap for regular tortillas. I go for the Cassava & Chia flavor or Almond Flour.
- Wholly Guacamole packs
- Fresh Whole Foods guacamole – always check ingredient labels for unnecessary additives!
- Fresh salsa & pico de gallo
- Farmhouse Culture or Wildbrine Sauerkraut
- Hail Merry refrigerated macaroons (I’m a sucker for the caramel sea salt!)
- Chia Pods – go for the Vanilla Bean which doesn’t contain any added sugar or the Dark Cacao flavor which is sweetened with coconut sugar.
- MUSH oatmeal (basically pre-made overnight oats made with great ingredients!)
- Steve’s No Junk Raw Protein Bars
- Wild sockeye smoked salmon
- Organic riced cauliflower (recipe idea: Cauliflower Fried Rice)
- Organic frozen fruit
- Sambazon or Acai Roots Organic Pure Unsweetened Acai packets – These are great for smoothies! Plus, there’s 0g sugar!
- Organic Veggies: organic spinach, kale, broccoli (florets or broccoli rabe), cauliflower, etc.
- Organic brown rice – so quick, just needs to be heated up!
- Organic white quinoa – just needs to be heated!
- Bonefide Provisions organic bone broth
- Whole Catch wild caught sockeye salmon fillets
- Whole Catch wild sea scallops
- Whole Catch wild caught shrimp
- Hilary’s Veggie Burgers
- Caulipower Pizza – 3 options of cauliflower crust pizza: three cheese, Mediterranean, or Just the Crust. Buy the crust and all of your favorite toppings for a fun DIY pizza night at home!
Meat / Poultry / Dairy / Fish
“When it comes to meat, poultry, and dairy, buying organic, grass-fed, and pastured-raised will always be your best bet! In terms of fish, opt for wild-caught” says Lindsay
- Organic chicken breasts / breast tenders
- Organic plain/unsalted rotisserie chicken (so convenient to have this at home to quickly add lean protein to your meals)
- 100% organic grass-fed ground beef
- Diestel or Mary’s organic ground turkey
- Organic, pasture-raised eggs (I love Vital Farms brand!)
- Organic cheeses
- Organic plain yogurt – See recommendations under refrigerated packaged goods!
- Kerrygold grass-fed pure Irish butter
- Grass-fed ghee
- Deli counter – sliced organic turkey or chicken (tip: whenever you’re buying deli meats, make sure that it’s always free from nitrates, nitrites, carrageenan, artificial ingredients, and MSG – check those labels!)
- Diestel Turkey Ranch organic roasted turkey slices
- Wild fish & shrimp from the seafood section – I always like to ask the fishmonger which wild fish is freshest that day and see what they recommend… it’s a good opportunity to try something new!
- Sushi! One of my favorite on-the-go lunches is their garden sushi roll with salmon or tuna – they’re rice-free and wrapped with tons of veggies. I also love to buy their sashimi and make my own poke bowls at home.
- Prepared foods counter: This is a great spot for grab-and-go items! There are tons of delicious options – just make sure to double check the ingredients in the foods you’re choosing (you’d be surprised how often you find canola oil in their prepared products).
Oils / vinegars / dressings / sauces
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Coconut oil – jars & Artisana individual packs
- Avocado oil – a must for high-heat cooking – it has a much higher smoke point than olive oil!
- Avocado oil spray – I use Chosen Foods
- Coconut Secret Coconut Amino’s – This is an amazing swap for soy sauce! It is lower in sodium and made with coconut instead of soy.
- Vinegars: apple cider, balsamic, champagne, red wine
- Primal Kitchen salad dressings
- Tessemae’s salad dressings
- Rao’s Homemade marinara sauces
- Lucini marinara sauces
- Hak’s Chipotle Bourbon BBQ sauce
- Tessemae’s Organic Ketchup
- Tessemae’s Matty’s Organic BBQ sauce
- Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo
- 365 Organic or Sir Kensington’s Dijon Mustard
- Organic low-sodium chicken / beef broth & bone broth
- Wild Planet sustainably caught wild Alaskan pink salmon & sockeye salmon
- Wild Planet or Sustainable Seas wild albacore tuna
- Canned Organic Beans
- Canned Organic Coconut Milk (recipe idea: try this whipped coconut cream!)
- San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
- No salt added diced tomatoes
Breads / Wraps / Crackers / Chips
- Alvarado Street Bakery sprouted breads, burger buns, and bagels – These have pure ingredients and are higher in protein than most breads.
- Julian Bakery Paleo Breads (grain-free/gluten-free!)
- Paleo coconut wraps
- Wrawp organic gluten-free veggie wraps
- Simple Mills crackers – another one of my top 5! All of the flavors are delicious and they’re made from nuts and seeds (totally grain & gluten-free).
- Simple Mills pancake & waffle Mix and pizza dough mix
- Jilz Crackers –grain-free, gluten free crackers… a totally Paleo snacking staple!
- Mary’s Gone Crackers
- Siete Foods tortilla chips – a must try! Tons of yummy flavor options.
- Rhythm Naked Beet Chips
- Seasnax roasted seaweed snacks
Oats / Grains / Granola / Pasta
- Organic old fashioned rolled oats & steel-cut oats
- Kitchfix grain-free granola (This is one of my fave WF products! I love the Original and Cocoa Sea Salt flavors – made with nuts & seeds and lightly sweetened with maple syrup)
- Purely Elizabeth granolas – ancient grain, probiotic granola, and grain-free
- Purely Elizabeth oatmeal cups
- Wildway grain-free instant hot cereal
- Organic quinoa
- Organic brown rice
- Organic Red Lentil Rotini pasta
- Banza chickpea pasta
Nuts / Seeds / Nut Butters
- Nuts – You can buy these by the bag or in the bulk section. Some stores even sell sprouted nuts in bulk.
- Seeds – chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin, sunflower
- Nut butter: 365, Nuttzo, Artisana, and Once Again are great brands. Always check the ingredient label to make sure there’s no added sugars in your nut butters! Some of these brands also come in on-the-go packs which are great for travel or taking to work.
- Grind-your-own nut butter: most Whole Foods have an area near the bulk section where you can grind fresh nut butter. Gotta love that it’s made from just one ingredient!
- 365 or Once Again organic tahini
- Organic Sunbutter – perfect if you have a nut allergy or just want to change things up. This is made with one ingredient, sunflower seeds!
- Artisana Coconut butter (perfect for these low-sugar treats!)
- Shredded unsweetened coconut
- Primal Kitchen Bars
- Rx Bars
- Steve’s No Junk Raw Protein Bars (in the refrigerated section)
- Eating Evolved chocolate bars – almond sea salt or crunchy caramel are delicious flavors! These bars are made with clean ingredients and sweetened with coconut sugar. (Only at certain Whole Foods)
- Eating Evolved coconut butter cups – I love the mint cream & caramel sea salt. They are the perfect way to cure the sweet tooth.
- Banana organic banana bites or coconut banana bites
- Simple Mills naturally gluten-free crunchy cookies – the chocolate chip cookies taste like Famous Amos!
- Go Raw gingersnap sprouted cookies or chocolate super cookies
A few superfoods
- Chia seeds (I never make a smoothie without them!)
- Navitas Naturals cacao powder (recipe ideas: Banana Avocado Chocolate Pudding & Cacao Smoothie Bowl)
- Navitas Naturals cacao nibs
- Matcha powder – I recommend the ceremonial grade Do Matcha for at-home lattes!
- Pure spirulina powder – for smoothies
Spices & other
- 365 organic spices
- 365 organic peppermint extract
- 365 organic vanilla extract
- Maldon flaky sea salt
- Bragg nutritional yeast – a great cheese substitute that’s full of B-vitamins!
- Organic liquid stevia drops – keep this in your purse and use it instead of artificial sweeteners.
- Monk Fruit in the Raw packets – another good alternative to artificial sweeteners
Healthy baking items
- Bob’s Red Mill flours: finely ground blanched almond flour, coconut flour, oat flour, or paleo baking flour
- Organic coconut sugar
- 100% pure maple syrup
- 365 organic raw honey
- Navitas Naturals cacao powder
- Paleo Baking Co mixes: carrot cake mix, banana bread mix, blueberry muffin mix
- Simple Mills naturally gluten-free muffin mixes
- LaCroix sparkling water
- Pellegrino sparkling natural mineral water
- Coconut water – look out for sugar content! I like Harmless Harvest.
- Runa Amazon Guayusa unsweetened tea – a great source of caffeine
- Matchabar Iced Matcha Tea unsweetened / ceremonial grade
- Yogi & Traditional Medicinals teas
- Coffee – ground or whole bean
- Tejava unsweetened iced tea
- Health Ade or GT’s Kombucha
Ok, we know this is a lot to remember! So, make sure you save these lists on your Pinterest. Some of these items you will only have to purchase every few months and some will be on your grocery list weekly. Split your time between Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s? Make sure you also save Lindsay’s grocery list to Trader Joe’s!