Stocking a gluten-free, grain-free, Whole30 kitchen can be a little intimidating at first. It’s important to know the “rules” and your personal goals so we can be successful. What are you hoping to get out of a Whole30? What are you noticing about your body, energy levels, and mindset now that you want to change?
It seems EVERYTHING in the grocery store has gluten, sugar or other processed nasties. Ideally, you are eating totally natural foods so you don’t even have to read the ingredient labels, but as soon as you venture into the interior of the modern American grocery story, it is absolutely critical to read labels. We start with the assumption that any packaged food is guilty until proven innocent. We don’t eat it until we read the label and make sure we can tolerate everything that’s in it.
That being said, there are some great gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly foods that we always have in the pantry or the freezer. We also keep a good supply of fresh vegetables and fruits, depending on what’s in season. We do try to buy organic produce, at least for the dirty dozen. We eat so much of those we prefer to pay a little more to get them without pesticides. (If you want to know more about the dirty dozen and clean 15, you can read about them on the Environmental Working Group’s website http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php).
Step 1: Where the Wild Things Are (Clean Out Your Kitchen!)
LET THE WILD RUMPUS BEGIN! The first thing you’re going to need to do is make room for all your new healthy, Whole30 food ingredients. Start by cleaning out your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Read the label on every package in your kitchen and look for those WILD THINGS who are going to cause a Wild Rumpus in your Tumpkins. Anything with gluten, grains, dairy, soy, legumes, sugar or other processed food chemicals is outski. If all of the ingredients are gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly real foods it stays. We’ll talk about how to spot sugars and grains later.
Don’t forget any traditional baking ingredients you may have. Flours, sugars, even baking powder. Many baking powders have starch made from grains added to prevent clumping.
Step 2: Blueberries for Sal (Stock Your Kitchen)
Wondering what to buy? Here is a list of some of the most used items we keep in our kitchens. These are the things we reach for everyday — some basics, as well as some more specialized tools and ingredients that are useful in gluten-free, grain-free, Whole30 cooking.
Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs-Your Pantry
Almond flour- to thicken sauce, or add crunch to meat or fish before baking
Apple cider vinegar- Always glass bottles
Cacao powder/nibs-NOT cocoa
Chicken and vegetable broths — homemade is better, but this is great for emergencies
Chomps Sticks-protein on the go! order on amazon
Coconut aminos (soy-free seasoning sauce)-Coconut Dream Brand
Coconut flour- Coconut Dream Brand
Coconut milk (with no added guar gum)
Coconut (flaked or shredded)-great for snacking or in recipes. Be sure it’s sugar free.
Epic Bars-Protein on the go! Order on Amazon.
Red Boat Fish Sauce-this adds a ton of flavor, but is the only brand that doesn’t have sugar.
Flavored olive oils — great for adding flavor to quick recipes.
Ghee-Pastured and/or organic
Avocado and/or Macadamia nut oil
Mustard-check for sugar/cornstarch/maltodextrin
Nuts and Seeds-raw is best, dry-roasted ok too. Don’t get tricked…no peaNUTS
Pickles, relish, diced chilies-read for sugar!
RX bars-order online on amazon. Have more protein than Larabars!
Tomatoes, canned—check no sugar
Tuna, canned or packaged-check no soy
Vinegar- balsamic, cider, red wine, white—just not Malt since it contains gluten.
Wild caught salmon, canned or packaged
Chika Chika Boom Boom!- Herbs and Spices
Flavor God Spice Blends-Order on Amazon. We love all of them!
Pink Himalayan Salt
Red Pepper Flakes
The Polar Express- Freezer
Bacon- check sugar
Bananas — peel and freeze when they are very ripe
Fish-Salmon, cod, tilapia, sablefish, tuna. We like the pre-portioned, wild caught bounty available on sizzlefish.com
Homemade soups — freeze in single servings
Meats-5280meat.com; us wellness meats
Sausage-check sugar and casing
Shrimp — raw, peeled and deveined
The Very Hungry Caterpillar- Stock Your Refrigerator
Green Eggs and Ham- Proteins:
- Beef, Buffalo, Lamb, Elk, Pork
- Chicken, duck, turkey
- Eggs: omega-3 enriched or pastured
The Giving Tree-Fruits and Vegetables:
- Bell Peppers
- Bok Choy
- Brussels Sprouts
- Greens (Chard, Kale, Mustard, Turnip)
- Lemons and Limes
- Squashes (all types)
What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? (Kitchen Tools)
- Chef’s knife
- Crock Pot
- Paring knife
- Digital scale
- Dutch oven
- Food processor
- Frying pan
- Heatproof silicone spatula
- High-speed blender — Blendtec or Vitamix or Nutribullet
- Microplane zester — use for citrus, nutmet, garlic and ginger…
- Muffin Tins – I like If You Care Baking Cups, muffins don’t stick to them.
- Parchment paper
- Sheet pans
- Spiral vegetable slicer — use to make spiralize your veggies
Step 3: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day (Prep to Avoid Emotional Eating)Don’t let the weather or your emotions determine what you eat. By planning your meals ahead, you can avoid a rainstorm!
You need to eat three meals a day. Don’t let the typical breakfast foods, lunch foods, and dinner foods mindsets get in your way. Why not have leftover pulled pork for breakfast or eggs for dinner?
Most weeks, we spend Sundays cooking mountains of meat and a whole variety of veggies that we quickly heat up and top with sauces/spices to make each meal unique.
All three of our meals look like this: Protein+Vegetables+Vegetables+Fat=Meal
Cook 2-3 pounds of ground meat with basic salt, ground pepper and garlic powder. Try turkey, chicken, pork or beef! Then for every meal, grab 4-6 oz, throw it in a sauté pan and top with your “specialty spices or sauces.”
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts/Thighs: Cook 2-3 pounds with some flavor god and bake in the oven. Grab and go chicken T&A.
Cook up some veggies and store them in the fridge. When you’re ready to use, throw in the sauté pan with flavorings of your choice!
Sauces: Rachel makes BOMB Whole30 mayo every week and turns it in to buffalo sauce, curry, or chicken salad by adding a few pinches of according seasonings.
Say you’ve made some ground turkey, sautéed bell peppers and onions, and mayo on Sunday. Tuesday night rolls around and you’re not sure what to make for dinner and you spot some romaine….BOOM IT’S A TEACHER’S TACO TUESDAY EVERYBODY! Cooking really is that easy!
Sample Meal Plan: These are meals that you could throw together just by looking at the ingredients you have already cooked. No recipes necessary.
Breakfast: Breakfast Salad
- Throw down a handful of spinach, top with two eggs any way you like them, two scoops of guac and two scoops of salsa. 1 cup of berries
Lunch: Waldorf Chicken Salad
- 4 oz chopped chicken, red onion, grapes and a handful of walnuts. Mix in a tablespoon of that that Mayo and plop it over lettuce. Get adventurous and add some curry powder for curried chicken salad.
- 2 oz ground turkey, and some roasted cauliflower
- Cooked chicken, cucumber, carrots and almond butter mixed with coconut aminos (shake it up for a “peanut sauce”)
Additional Reading and Resources:
- It Starts with Food
- The Paleo Solution-Robb Wolf
- The Primal Blueprint
- No Nonsense Paleo
- Against All Grain (Danielle Walker)
- Well Fed
Cookbooks and Blogs I like:
- Cook eat paleo
- The Clothes Make the Girl