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Grocery Shopping for Real Foods

The Food Marketing Institute recently reported that 71% of us are cooking at home more often these days and using real foods to do so. That’s great news! It also means more people are buying fresh produce, meat, and kitchen staples in the grocery store.


How can you make a trip to the store quick and cost-efficient? The quick answer is….meal planning!

When you plan meals, you automatically take stock of what you have in the pantry and fridge and choose dishes that make use of what you already have.


That is rule #1 – Effective meal planning and grocery shopping makes use of what is already on hand.


As you write down the meals you want to make throughout the week, list the items you need to purchase. This ensures that you have what you need and nothing extra.  Make sure to include enough foods from each food group, with special attention to fresh vegetables and fruits for every meal as well as snacks.  At the grocery store, always keep an eye out for sales on grain products like rice, gluten-free pasta and quinoa and chia seeds so you can stock up and have them as staples for every meal.  Frozen fish, frozen vegetables and even frozen fruit are also good to keep on hand for quick entrees, side dishes and smoothies when you haven’t had a chance to buy fresh ingredients.

Aside from sale items that are a smart buy, stick to the list on your meal plan and shop the perimeter of the store. Avoiding the inner aisles reduces excessive spending on items of limited nutritional value.


Whole Food Shopping List  (print & take with you)

These are most of my favourite whole foods. Add any whole food I missed and take this along with you the next time you go grocery shopping.  Experiment with new foods and ways to include them in your daily intake and you’ll be fully nourishing your body with the vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and fats you need to thrive.


Gluten Free Grains:

Quinoa, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Millet, Rice

* Grains should be soaked for six hours or longer if possible and rinsed before cooking



Artichoke Broccoli    Endive    Kale    Mustard greens    Arugula     Brussels sprouts     Celery

Eggplant     Kohlrabi     Nettles     Radicchio    Asparagus    Cabbage- red & green     Chard

Fiddleheads    Maize (non GMO)     Okra    Rhubarb    Avocado     Bok Choy     Carrots

Cauliflower     Collard greens    Frisee    Mushroom     Parsley     Spinach    Tomatoes

Watercress Water Chestnut    Onion-family: chives, garlic, leek, onion, shallot, green onion

Peppers: Jalapeno, Habanero, Paprika, Red, Cayenne

Root vegetables: carrot, celeriac, daikon, ginger, parsnips, rutabaga, turnip Radish: turnip, wasabi, horseradish, white radish

Squashes: acorn, butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti

Tubers: Jicama, Jerusalem artichoke, Potato, sweet potato, yam


Herbs and Spices:

Anise     Basil     Chamomile     Caraway     Dill     Marjoram     Sage    Fennel

Oregano    Thyme    Rosemerry     Lemon grass     Pink Himalayan Salt    Pepper Corns



Apple    Bread fruit    Boysenberry    Coconut    Elderberry    Grapefruit    Gooseberry
Jackfruit    Lime    Banana    Blueberry    Grapes    Nectarines    Strawberry    Cherry
Cantaloupe    Honeydew     Watermelon    Star Fruit    Black Berry    Raspberry    Fig
Clementine    Tangerine    Oranges     Papaya    Plum    Purple Mangosteen    Prune 

Peach    Pear    Pomegranate    Persimmons    Apricots    Kiwi    Lychee    Mango 



Extra virgin olive oil    Extra virgin coconut oil   Ghee    (Grass-fed) Butter 

Meat and Protein:

Pastured meat is always the best choice.  Look for meat that has been ethically raised and given a diet suitable for the animal.  Grass fed and pastured is the best option.  If the animal was fed grain, ensure it was organic and for the shortest time possible.  Hormone and antibiotic free is a must when selecting meat and eggs.  You’re further ahead to avoid meat not raised this way than to expose yourself to harmful chemicals and hormones. Avoid farmed fish whenever possible.  Opt for wild caught instead.

Super Foods:

Goji berrie, Hemp hearts,  Maca, Cacao, 

Bee products (royal jelly, pollen, honey), Acai, Spirulina

Chia seeds, Fermented foods (kimchi, saur kraut, miso, coconut kefir),

Bone broth, Sea vegetables -high in minerals including dulse and kelp


Below is the list complied and published by the Environmental Working Group on food most heavily sprayed with pesticides. Until recently this list was called the Dirty Dozen, this year two new items were added to the list. Ideally you would purchase all of your fruits and vegetables organic- simply because they taste better and the soils they are grown in are much higher in minerals. Unfortunately, because of cost or accessibility, that is not always possible. When possible choose the fruits and vegetables from the “Dirty Dozen” list organic, and save a little money by purchasing the Clean 15 from conventional growers.


The Dirty Dozen:

Apples Celery Peppers Peaches Strawberries Nectarines Green beans

Grapes Spinach Lettuce Cucumbers Blueberries Potatoes Kale

Clean 15:

Onions Sweet Corn Pineapple Avocado Cabbage Sweetpeas Mangoes

Asparagus Eggplant Kiwi Cantaloupe Sweet Potatoes Grapefruit Watermelon


You can the latest changes to this list here




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