KITCHEN MAKEOVER SERIES PART 1: GROCERY & PANTRY STAPLES

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Over the past couple of weeks i have been sharing little clips of my grocery shopping on my Instagram (shameless plug @lulugodin) and a ton of you have asked me to share my actual grocery lists and tips so I've come up with a 4 part blog series that will hopefully help all of you walk into the grocery store and your kitchen with confidence. I will launch each new blog post every Thursday for the next 4 weeks so let's get into it, shall we. 

 I personally love the grocery store and could spend hours in there reading labels and fining new things, theres something so calming to me about grocery shopping.. I know I know who does that right? But if you're not like me - which most "normal" people aren't - grocery shopping is probably not high up on your list of favourite activities. You probably want to get in and get out as fast as humanely possible and that can result in putting little to no effort into a list (if you even make one) and buying whatever you see first no matter the cost or quality. 

So this is where my grocery store loving nutrition nerd self comes in handy for YOU. I am sharing my top grocery and pantry staples with you guys so that you can get the most out of your shop and have tons of good stuff on hand to whip up some easy and healthy meals!

BULK DRY GOODS

  • Beans & Legumes - I like to by organic dry beans for the most part because they're cheaper and because canned beans can often be contaminated with heavy metals and chemicals from the lining in the can. My go to's are: chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and lentils.
  • Rice & Grains - I always buy organic when it comes to rice and grains because they are very heavily sprayed crops, bleached, polished and refined (all of which strip away nutrients). Go to's: brown rice, wild rice, jasmine rice, quinoa, rolled oats and quick oats. 
  • Flours - Again I always like to buy organic because of the same reasons that I mentioned above for the rice and grains. Go to's: oat flour (I make this myself), coconut flour, gluten free flour, buckwheat flour, unbleached white flour and brown flour. 
  • Pasta - I'm an Italian girl who grew up on pasta a minimum of 3x per week so yes pasta is a staple in my diet and no it does not make you fat, moderation is key. That being said I do tend to lean towards the healthier more nutrient dense options and as mentioned above when it comes to anything made from a grain I buy organic. Go to's: Banza chickpea pasta, brown rice pasta, black bean pasta, whole grain pasta. 
  • Dried Fruit & Berries - When it comes to dried fruit I buy organic, unsulfured and unsweetened, a lot of the time dried fruit has cane sugar and sulphur added to sweeten and preserve. Go to's: dates (technically these aren't dried as they are naturally dry), prunes, figs, mango slices, goji berries, mulberries and golden berries.
  • Nuts & Seeds - I buy organic raw nuts and seeds because that way I know that they have ZERO oils, salts, chemicals, etc. Go to's: almonds, cashews, pistachios, brazil nuts (1 per day = RDA of Selenium), chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax seeds - *our bodies cannot digest whole flax seeds so it is important to either buy ground flax or grind your own whole flax seeds before you consume them*

 

CANNED FOODS

I prefer to buy beans and legumes dry as I said before but I do keep some canned beans in the pantry for "emergencies" - make sure if you're buying canned goods to look for organic and no salt added or low sodium. If possible look for chemical free on the can as well - this means the lining inside of the can is free of toxic chemicals. 

 

  • Chickpeas
  • Black Beans
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Whole Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste 
  • Sweet Corn
  • Black Olives
  • Organic NON GMO Coconut Milk

PRODUCE

Let me start off by saying that I know how expensive it can get trying to buy all of your produce organic so my top tips are always go for produce from small local farms when possible because they are less likely to spray their crops otherwise use the dirty dozen(12) clean 15 method when shopping. For those of you who aren't familiar with that method don't fear, it's actually very simple - the produce listed under the Clean 15 have the least amount of pesticides used during growing, picking and processing so they can be bought conventionally and the produce listed under the Dirty 12 should be bought organic as they have thin skin and the highest pesticide count.

CLEAN 15

 

 

  • Mushrooms 
  • Onions 
  • Sweet corn 
  • Pineapple 
  • Mangoes 
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Kiwi 
  • Avocado 
  • Asparagus 
  • Sweet peas 
  • Eggplant 
  • Cabbage 
  • Sweet Potatoes 
  • Grapefruit 
  • Watermelon

DIRTY 12

  • Apples 
  • Celery 
  • Strawberries 
  • Blueberries 
  • Peaches 
  • Spinach 
  • Cucumber 
  • Grapes 
  • Nectarines 
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Bell Peppers 
  • Greens - Kale/Lettuce/Collard

OTHER STAPLE PRODUCE - I BUY LOCAL & ORGANIC IF POSSIBLE

  • Lemons
  • Garlic
  • Ginger Root
  • Turmeric Root
  • Cilantro
  • Bananas
  • Zucchini 
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Butternut Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash

PROTEIN

As most of you know I personally don't eat meat but I will include it for those of you who do! When it comes to animal protein it is crucial to buy pasture raised, antibiotic and hormone free and local meats. Animal agriculture is the top purchaser of pharmaceutical drugs in the world and the drugs and hormones that are fed to the animals to prevent disease and increase size get passed on to us when we consume the meat of these animals which can lead to antibiotic resistance, hormone imbalance and many other risks. The same goes for fish and seafood, you always want to purchase and consume fresh, wild caught, cold water fish this lowers the chance of the fish having a high concentration of mercury and pollution built up in their bodies which is passed on when we consume them.

  • Chicken Breast, Thigh or Whole Chicken
  • Turkey Breast
  • Ground Bison
  • Lamb
  • Whole Pasture Raised Eggs
  • Cage Free, Free Rage Egg Whites
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Snapper
  • Cod
  • Canned Tuna (look for low sodium and low mercury)

PACKAGED VEGAN MEAT ALTERNATIVES

I always have tofu and at least one "fake" meat alternative on hand. It's important to purchase Organic and NON GMO when it comes to soy products as soy is one of the most heavily GMO crops in the world. 

  • Organic NON GMO Tempeh
  • Organic NON GMO Tofu
  • Organic NON GMO Smoked Tofu - game changing-ly good
  • Organic Seitan
  • Yves Brand - Veggie Dogs
  • Yves Brand - Veggie Burgers
  • Beyond Meat Brand -   Veggie Crumbles or Burger
  • Fieldroast Brand - Sausages and Burgers

COOKING OILS

When it comes to cooking oil you want to stay away from the light cooking oils like canola, etc. These two oils have a high smoke point so you are avoiding any possible carcinogens developing during heating/cooking.

  • Avocado Oil
  • Coconut Oil

NON COOKING OILS

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Flax Oil
  • Udo’s Oil
  • Hemp Oil

SUPERFOODS

These are completely optional and should be viewed as supplements to your diet but I use them daily and figured I'd include them! Please do your own research before adding any new superfood into your diet. Pro tip: you can buy most of these in bulk in smaller (cheaper) amounts to try them out and see if you like them enough to invest in a full container!

  • Cacao 
  • Maca 
  • Ashwaganda
  • Camu Camu Berry
  • Chlorella 
  • Chlorophyll 
  • Spirulina 

SPICES

I feel like a broken record but it's super important to purchase organic spices because most of the time with spices you are directly consuming the leaf/bud of the plant which is not often protected from harmful chemicals. I personally LOVE spices and have an entire shelf full of them but I'll keep it short and sweet and only list my top 10 for your sake.

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Black Pepper
  • Red Chili Flakes
  • Cumin
  • Garam Masala
  • Curry Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric 
  • Himalayan Pink Salt 

OTHER

  • Unsweetened Nut Milk - my favourite is Silk Brand cashew milk or home made almond milk
  • Unsweetened Coconut Yogurt - I like Silk or Yosso Brand 
  • Low Sugar Kombucha - I like GT's Brand
  • Cold Pressed Juices
  • Organic Tea - my favourites are; peppermint, ginger, earl grey, chai and dandelion root
  • Organic NON GMO Coconut Water - only ingredient should be the coconut water 
  • Nutritional Yeast - good source of plant based protein and B vitamins
  • Organic Whole Grain Rice Cakes
  • Silver Hills Brand Sprouted Vegan Bread - sprouted grains are high in protein and easier to digest 
  • Organic Vegan Chocolate Bar - made with cacao not cocoa, sweetened with organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Raw Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Stevia
  • Nut Butter's *Only ingredient should be the nut and possibly sea salt* - my favourites are; almond, peanut and cashew.
  • Coconut Butter (Mana)
  • Plant Based Protein Powder - My favourite is Vega Sport Vanilla
  • Protein Bars - My favourites are; GoMacro, Square Organics, RXBAR and Simply Protein 

BOOM! Okay I know that was a lot of information but I wanted to make this super informative and give you guys a ton of different options because I know that people have likes and dislikes. Next week on my Kitchen Makeover Series I am going to be sharing how to read food labels, exactly what additive ingredients to look out for and what to do if you're in a pinch and have to buy remade or packaged food. I know right.. get excited!

xo -LU