My Whole30 Shopping List from Trader Joe’s

trader joe whole30 shopping list

The nearest TJ is 90 miles from me, and I don’t get in the car and go anywhere but to therapy and an occasional rare outing for very special occasions these days. However- a friend who lives closer was starting whole30, and she lives halfway between TJ and me.  She offered to pick things up for me.  So I asked around.  Here are some of the things to look for:

  • Pumpkin spice coffee with no artificial ingredients is a seasonal item, and this is the season.  This is good stuff.  Tip:  I put a spoonful of Thai Kitchen Coconut milk (the organic kind has no other additives) in my coffee and then I put in a spoonful of canned organic sweet potato some some cinnamon. I know this sounds weird, but the sweet potato tastes just like pumpkin.
  • Figs right now,both fresh and in the frozen section.  I find their fresh fruit section entirely hit and miss, so check it out, but you might need to go elsewhere for other things.
  • Their frozen fruit and frozen vegetables are very good- although do read labels on the mixes.  I accidentally got a stirfry mix with edamame (soy) in it, and soy is prohibited.  I had plenty of frozen fruit on hand, so I didn’t get any, but I did get their tri-color peppers and their pearl onions, as well as those stir-fry vegetable mixes.  I’ve used the stir-fry mix before and it was really, really good.  Maybe I could just pick out the edamame in mine.
  • Freeze-dried fruits- these are nice to have in the car for quick snacks when you didn’t quite plan as well as you meant to.
  • dried unsulphered fruits
  • Nuts and nutbutters: I buy my nutbutters locally and freshly ground- the fresher the grinding the better for the best flavor, and the difference between fresh and in a jar on the shelf is significant.  But if you don’t have a fresh source and don’t want to make your own, then these are good, or so I’ve been told.  No peanut butter for the whole30 eating plan, of course. You can do sunbutter.  Go for organic, I’ve heard the non-organic has some other additives you don’t want.
  • Coconut milk (only the lite cans at TJ have no additives, so I didn’t get any because I don’t like lite.  After trying three other brands of coconut milk which I despised, I am a pretty loyal Thai Kitchen organics customer and am afraid to try any others. But if you’re not as passionate about Thai Kitchen as I am, maybe you’ll like their Lite coconut milk)
  • spices and herbs, including saffron at a very good price (for saffron)
  • Plantain chips (YUM!)- 1.69 for a smallish bag. There are three ingredients- plantain, olive oil or sunflower oil, and salt.  Chips are not precisely whole30 for psychological reasons, so think twice.  And then get them anyway and just limit yourself.  Good as crunchy toppings on salads. 
  • California Estate Olive Oil, also garlic infused olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • Cheese from grassfed animals in New Zealand- well, we used to buy this when I wasn’t doing whole30, which disallows all dairy but ghee. Just thought I’d through it in there.
  • TJ’s seafood blend (shrimp, scallops and calamari) = from the frozen section this was amazingly delicious, a total wow for my mouth.  But it’s  7.99 for a bag that is somewhere between 12 and 16 ounces.   A different kind of wow. But I am torn.  So, so delicious.
  • Cruciferous Crunch~ This is a blend of shredded broccoli, kale, red cabbage, & brussels sprouts in a bag all ready to use in the produce section.  2.29  I have used it twice now for stir-fries and love it.  
  • Smoked Paprika, as well as other herbs
  • Chicken broth
  • Grassfed beef- 
  • Olives, especially the garlic stuffed (you can also find these at Vitacost)
  • Prosciutto
  • 2014-10-19 23.14.15 I’m undecided about this one- Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream.  It has two ingredients that surprised me.  Guar Gum, which is Whole30 compliant, and sodium carboxy methyl cellulose, which I assume isn’t, but I don’t know. It’s also in toothpaste and other things we put in our mouths, medications, and more.  It helps maintain a stable, consistent, smooth, creamy texture. I was thinking of using2014-10-19 23.14.32 it for my coffee so as to leave more of my Thai Kitchen coconut milk for soups and curries. 
  • Eggs (I didn’t buy any, but you might want to)

The Whole30 website is here, and I suggest you take a look at it and don’t take my word for whether or not anything here is approved.  I’m just trying it out, and I haven’t read the book yet (I keep nagging one of the girls to put it on hold for me at the library).

I started doing this September 6 or 7.  I haven’t been totally faithful- I had three total cheat meals so far.  I snack and they frown on that. I eat more nuts than they say I should.  I put stevia in my coffee. I made pancakes that have all whole30 ingredients but pancakes are totally not allowed (no substitutes for yummy baked ingredients).   On the other hand, I don’t sweeten things with fruit juice, eat white potatoes, and I almost never eat dates or raisins, all very high carb, high glycemic index foods that are permitted on Whole30.   So I’m not really doing the program as much as using it for some major guidelines 90% of the time.

In spite of all the cheating, and the fact that I have seen great-toes sloths with more energy and a more active lifestyle than I have, I have lost ten pounds, which isn’t all that much, but it’s not nothing, either.


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