I’ve been asked a few times to go through what I buy on a weekly basis so here it is! It won’t be an exhaustive list but it will earmark the essentials!
When planning meals I try to look at my protein, carbohydrate (including fibre) and fat needs as well as my micronutrient needs (vitamins and minerals). These needs will depend on my goals at the time, specifically; do I want to lose fat, maintain my weight or gain muscle? I also try to time my meals in such a way that they fuel my workouts and aid my recovery and, as such, optimise my body composition.
As well as this I endeavour to ‘eat clean’ by choosing whole-food sources of nutrition and keeping any processed foods to a minimum. In general, I don’t tend to buy foods with long lists of unrecogniseable ingredients, artificial flavourings, colours or anything with added sugar etc. A good rule of thumb is to steer clear of any food you will find a T.V. commercial for!
For the purposes of this article I have broken my grocery list down into the three different macronutrients; protein, carbohydrates and fat, and at the end I have included some of my favourite ways to add flavour to my food. Lastly, I’ve listed a few of my favourite treats!
- Chicken – always on my weekly grocery list!
- Turkey/turkey mince – more commonly found in shops now but you can always ask your butcher to mince a turkey breast if you don’t see it on display – that’s what I used to do!
- Fish – prawns, smoked salmon, cod etc. I also usually have a couple of tins of tuna steak in the cupboard incase I’m ever stuck for lunch/dinner in a rush. I rarely need it but it is good to have if I’ve nothing else and can’t get to the shop – it stops me reaching for the wrong things! Having prawns in the freezer is also really handy if you need to put together a quick lunch or dinner.
- Red Meat; steak and steak mince, lamb; I probably only eat red meant one or two times a week.
- Protein powder – I take this after training and use it in some recipes for example my protein pancakes, my proats and my smoothies. I use either whey or rice protein or a vegan protein blend. I choose brands that are free from artificial colours or flavours.
- Greek yogurt – Glenisk high protein greek yogurt is my favourite.
- Eggs – when possible I choose pasture raised, organic eggs.
- Kefir – a fermented milk drink I make which contains less sugar than yogurt and far more probiotic strains – more on this in another post!
- Lots of green vegetables; broccoli, courgette – which I also use in my proats and often spiralise as a pasta/noodle replacement for things like spaghetti Bolognese, celery, spinach, kale, peas, spring onion, asparagus, cabbage (I often use savoy cabbage as a low-carb wrap, for example in my vegan tacos). Green vegetables are definitely a big staple of my weekly grocery list.
- Other vegetables; Mushrooms, onion, cauliflower (which I often serve as ‘rice’ with dishes like curry or my Indian Dal), carrots – can also be spirallised or eaten as carrot sticks. The only vegetables I wouldn’t eat as much would be the starchier ones like parsnip and potato. They aren’t off limits at all but I just don’t tend to eat them daily. I do like sweet potato but at the moment I’m not eating it daily either, rather I’m reserving it for the weekend! I love butternut squash too and include it in a few recipes such as my soup recipe. I also love fermenting my vegetables to boost their probiotic benefits.
- Salad – shallots, tomato and others as named above.
- Oats – I tend to eat these on weight-training days in the evening in the form of proats with courgette. I sometimes use buckwheat or quinoa flakes in the same way.
- Fruit – before the gym I will almost always have a banana with a tablespoon of nut butter. The nut butter helps to offset the insulin response to the banana and allows the energy from the banana to be released gradually throughout my workout. If I didn’t have a banana to hand I would probably choose an apple or pear. The only other fruit I tend to eat regularly would be berries as they are reasonably low in carbohydrate. They are also my favourite type of fruit so its win-win! I use lemons and limes in dressings and in smoothies too. I also use goji berries and other dried fruit from time to time and especially in my clean baking!
- Wholegrain buckwheat flour – I use this in my protein pancakes as it is a lower calorie flour and it is also gluten free so it is great if you have problems digesting gluten!
- Brown rice and brown rice pasta. I also use buckwheat pasta when I can get my hands on it.
- Rice Milk is high carb and much higher in calories than almond milk, however I will usually have some rice milk in my post-workout protein shake (at the moment 100ml rice milk, 300ml almond milk but if I was trying to gain muscle I would be eating a higher amount of carbohydrate so the amount of rice milk in my post workout shake would probably be higher). The reason I include these simple-carbs post-workout is to replace glycogen lost from my muscles during my workout and thus aid recovery along with the protein. They also make the shake taste sweeter of course!
- Quinoa/amaranth/Beans/Lentils – these are not neccesarily daily staples but I would have them in the cupboards for particular recipes.
- Coconut oil – I cook with this all the time; extra virgin, raw, organic.
- Olive oil – extra virgin, I put this on my salad.
- Avocado – yum.
- Nuts – I LOVE almond butter and peanut butter! I use homemade cashew cream in my butternut squash soup too – click to view the recipe.
- Seeds – sunflower seeds are really high in protein, plus I love chia seeds and linseed, they are great for boosting your fibre intake too.
- Eggs – the fat is in the yolk.
- Omega supplement (Wild alaskan salmon oil) and fermented cod liver oil – I take these daily. I can do a separate post on my daily supplements if that would be useful!
- Coconut milk – in certain recipes but not a daily staple. Check the ingredients of the brand you are buying!
Grocery List – Condiments:
- Herbs – fresh and dried
- Fresh garlic/ginger/turmeric/chilli
- Vinegar – balsamic, apple cider, red/white wine vinegar
- Liquid Aminos (Braggs)
- Fish sauce – check the ingredients as I’ve seen a lot of brands with added sugar and other rubbish. I got mine in an Asian supermarket and it has been traditionally fermented for 18 months with only fish and salt as ingredients.
- Himalayan pink salt
- Hot sauce – Frank’s Original
- Stock – I make my own as much as possible and keep it in the freezer to use as needed rather than resorting to processed stock cubes (even the organic ones have flavour enhancers and other crap in them!)
- Olives, capers, sun-blushed tomatoes.
- Tomato puree, tinned tomatoes.
Foods I Eat More Sparingly/As a Clean Treat:
These foods are not always staples of my diet or grocery list but I love them (in moderation!)!
- Protein bars – I try to choose ones with the ‘cleanest’ ingredients – my favourite are Rawrev, pictured above, as these do not contain any artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners, they’re also GMO free and organic. I try to avoid soy-based protein bars. I’d love to find some more ‘clean’ protein bars that are free of artificial flavours/colours/sweeteners – if you have any good recommendations for me then comment below!
- Protein nut butters, also pictured above.
- Dark Chocolate
- Popcorn – the odd time but always organic/non-GMO and popped in the pot – never microwave popcorn!
- Cheese – fresh mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar mostly. I love cheese but I wouldn’t have it everyday.
- Parma Ham – check the ingredients as a lot of brands have loads of additives and preservatives, the one I buy just has pork and salt. You’ll see it in the picture below. I use this in a few recipes.
Red wine(never appears on my grocery list!! 🙂 )
Of course if I go out for dinner or am at a special celebration I may likely deviate from this list but for 90% of the time this is how I shop, cook and eat. If I’m cooking a treat meal on the weekend it will be comprised of all the things I’ve listed above. There aren’t really any specific foods that I completely restrict from my diet so if there’s something I haven’t mentioned its probably because I don’t like it or it won’t help me meet my nutritional goals at the moment.
When I’m baking clean treats like my Chocolatey Chewy Superfood Paleo Bites there are other ingredients I will use that I haven’t listed within this post as they are not necessarily weekly staples of my diet. I can do a seperate post or grocery list on the main foods I use for clean baking if that would be helpful too! I also did a post back in January on my favourite non-alcoholic drinks which you might like to check out.
If you want to see how I use all of the food from my grocery list in my daily meals, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter where I regularly post meals! If there’s any great healthy food I’ve left off my grocery list that you think I should know about then comment below!
The Clean Coconut x