More and more often I’m getting asked what my typical shopping list looks like,
so I thought I’d share it with you!
All the ingredients below are things that I either purchase on a regular basis (like fresh produce), or staples which only need to be bought occasionally (such as spices and grains). As we all know, healthy, fresh and/or organic foods can be quite expensive. I don’t always have every single thing on this list at home at the one time, so please don’t be shocked by the abundance of items below. The main point of this post is to show you the kinds of things you should be filling your trolley with. The more you fill your trolley and stock your kitchen with good stuff, the less room (and money!) you’ll have for bad stuff.
The list below constitutes 90% of what’s in my fridge and pantry. I still live at home with my family, and by no means is my kitchen 100% clean in the nutritional sense. If you were to come over, you’d be sure to find a tub of Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer (my absolute weakness), bacon and chorizo in the fridge, and a packet of biccies in the pantry. To provide an accurate depiction of what my diet mainly consists of, I have only included the ingredients I consume regularly. Anything else is labelled as an ‘extra’.
Just as often as I’m asked what I buy, I also get asked where I buy it. The answer is everywhere – farmers markets, supermarkets (there’s a Super Coles right near my house), local grocers, organic grocers, health food stores and even online. Much to the dismay of small health food store and grocery owners, almost everything I mention below can be found in a supermarket. Even some of the more foreign superfoods can be found in the health food aisle of Coles these days, whereas a year ago I would have had to go to a specialty health store. The same goes for the variety of organic fresh produce; it pains me to admit that, more often than not, Coles has a bigger and cheaper variety of organic goods than my local grocers. Still, I prefer to support local farmers and businesses.
In cases where brands or specific products are mentioned, please note this is simply because I prefer them for their particular taste and quality, relative to price; by no means am I paid to endorse ANY of the following items or their brands.
Another important thing to note is that unless stated otherwise/marked with an asterisk (*), all the below ingredients are fructose-friendly and low FODMAP to suit my food intolerance (fructose malabsorption). As a result, this list does not contain particular foods which are still healthy for digestively normal people –foods I always ate prior to developing the intolerance and which are still eaten by the rest my family –but ones I can no longer digest properly (such as apples, mango, pear, watermelon, kale, red and brown onion, garlic, mushies, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and other legumes etc.). If you don’t have fructose malabsorption or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), I highly recommend you incorporate said ingredients into your daily diet because they possess wonderful nutritional benefits for those who can digest them.
When it comes to fruit and veg, my family tries to eat as organically, seasonally and locally as possible for health and environmental reasons, but in reality, only 50-70% of the fruit and veg we buy is organic. I’m lucky enough to have a large veggie patch at home, so a lot of our seasonal produce comes from there, too. Eating organically is not feasible for everyone, but there are certain non-organic foods that have been found to obtain a higher pesticide residue than others and are thus more important to eat organically if possible. These include spinach, lettuce, celery, cucumber, zucchini, capsicum (sweet bell peppers), chili peppers, cherry tomatoes, white potatoes, apples*, peaches*, imported nectarines*, grapes and berries. If you cannot always buy these foods organically, make sure you wash them thoroughly before eating them.
Then there’s the flip-side: although buying organically is great for supporting local farmers and promoting a toxin-free environment, if you’re looking from an artificial pesticide and fertilizer perspective, there are certain foods which seem to remain fairly clean from such chemicals. These include onion*, sweet corn, sweet potato, eggplant, avocado, cabbage*, kiwi fruit, pineapple, mango*, papaya, cantaloupe, watermelon*, grapefruit.
*contain excess fructose or fructans (not suitable for those on a low-FODMAP diet).
Broccoli* (fructan – I only eat small amounts at a time)
Tomatoes (truss and cherry)
Celery* (polyol apparently, but it doesn’t seem to affect me)
Beetroot* (contains some FODMAPS. I stick to small amounts.)
Avocado* (polyol – I have built myself up to tolerate avocado)
Blueberries and raspberries (fresh or frozen, depending on season and price)
We grow all our own herbs, but these are the ones I’d buy if I couldn’t grow them.
Unlike larger veg and fruit, growing your own herbs is super easy and takes up very little space. It’ll also save you a lot of cash!
Extras: sage, dill, thyme, oregano
MEAT, FISH & POULTRY
I’m personally not a huge red meat eater (I probably only eat it once a week or less), so most of my protein comes from chicken, fish and eggs.
Eggs (always organic free range)
Chicken breast (preferably organic & free range)
Roast/BBQ Chicken (skin & excess fat removed & used in salads, wraps etc.)
Lean beef (preferably organic & grass-fed)
I try not to eat much cow’s dairy, but I don’t cut it out completely because I enjoy small amounts of it with certain meals too much.
Full fat natural & Greek-style yoghurt (I love five:am brand)
Danish or Persian feta
Goats feta/curd (Meredith Dairy is my absolute favourite)
Full fat butter (absolutely NO margarine in my house! I usually use avocado instead of butter, anyway)
Coconut-brown rice milk (Pure Harvest’s Coco Quench brand)
Unsweetened oat milk (Pure Harvest)
Stir-fry veg (pre-chopped, so no matter what, I always have some veg to turn to)
IN THE PANTRY
GRAINS & CEREALS
Quinoa (white and red)
Rolled oats (traditional)
Food for Health Fibre Cleanse Muesli (Bought from Coles. I usually always make my own muesli and granola, but it’s good to have a box on hand for convenience so I don’t reach for my brother’s Crunchy Nut Clusters [which I’m very partial to!])
Extras: brown rice noodles, brown rice pasta,
spelt pasta*, polenta, Celebrate Health Mexican quinoa, Celebrate Health Lemon & Thyme quinoa
BREADS & WRAPS:
Gluten free & organic Old Time Bakery wraps (not so good as a wrap, but great as a healthy pizza base for quick lunch/dinner)
100% spelt wraps*
Healthybake brand breads: oat, spelt & pharoah loaves (Healthybake can be purchased from many health food stores such as GoVita, as well as selected grocers)
Ancient Grains brand breads: oat & spelt loaves (Can be purchased from some supermarkets, health food stores & selected grocers)
Dr Karg Seeded Spelt crispbread (can be purchased from health food stores and selected grocers)
Brown rice cakes
Cobs natural popcorn
Buckwheat crispbread (Orgran brand)
Brown rice-seaweed crackers (Eat Rite brand)
Mary’s Gone Crackers ‘superseed’ crackers
Rice paper rounds (to make rice paper rolls – found in ‘Asian’ section of supermarkets)
Puffed rice crisps (Lotus brand)
Plain activated buckinis (Loving Earth brand)
Dried shredded/flaked coconut (Eco brand)
Extra: nori (seaweed sheets for sushi & adding to salads), carob powder (Lotus), psyllium husk, maca powder (Loving Earth), Slippery Elm bark powder
Corn kernels (no added sugar)
Pure coconut milk (full fat & unsweetened)
Tinned tuna (controversial for a few reasons, I know, but its convenience suits my lifestyle and I just love tuna. I try to not eat it too often, and always opt for more ethical brands)
Brown rice flour (I make my own by blending brown rice in the Thermomix)
Oat flour (I make my own by blending oats in the Thermomix)
Wholemeal spelt flour*
Almond meal* (I make my own by blending almonds in the Thermomix)
Extras: quinoa flour, coconut flour*
*spelt: some individuals who react to fructans might not be able to tolerate large amounts of spelt. I don’t seem to have any issues with it.
* almonds: I use almond and other nut meals sparingly because I cannot tolerate tree nuts in large amounts.
* Coconut flour: dried coconut is fructan-containing. I can only tolerate small amounts.
NUTS & SEEDS (all raw)
pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
LSA meal (ground linseed [flax seeds], sunflower seeds & almonds)
*most nuts and seeds contain moderate amounts of fructan, some much more than others. Now that I’ve built my tolerance up more, I stick to small portions at a time (the equivalent to a small handful). Cashews and macadamias seem to stir me up more than the others.
Natural peanut butter (I love good ol’ Sanitarium)
Tahini (I use Mayver’s brand)
Extras: Mayver’s cacao-peanut butter spread, Mayver’s coconut-peanut butter spread, Mayver’s Energy spread (almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, chia seeds, sesame seeds, brazil nuts, cashews and spirulina), pumpkin seed spread
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Cold-pressed coconut oil
Macadamia nut oil
Extras: flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil, raw cacao butter
Rice malt syrup (I use Pure Harvest brand)
Pure organic maple syrup (various brands from supermarkets. Health food/organic stores will try to rip you off BIG TIME for the same brands – don’t pay more than $8!)
Coconut sugar (Loving Earth)
Glucose syrup (for those with FructMal ONLY! Not ideal, but I’ll have a few teaspoons of this if I’ve accidentally eaten something I might react to. The glucose helps to carry the excess fructose molecules across the small intestinal wall, thus facilitating absorption. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!)
SEASONINGS, DRESSINGS & NATURAL FLAVOURINGS
Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
White wine vinegar
Bragg’s All Purpose Seasoning
Pure vanilla extract
Raw cacao powder
Himalayan pink rock salt
Extras: pure coconut essence, pure orange essence, rose water, vanilla beans, natural vanilla powder
DRIED HERBS & SPICES
(all grounded unless specified otherwise)
Pana chocolate (the ones not sweetened with agave)
Loving Earth chocolate (coconut mylk)
Alter Eco dark chocolate (I LOVE the one with puffed quinoa!)
Dark-choc coated goji berries
Coyo ice cream