Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Here is a list of eight staple food items I buy every time I go to the supermarket (usually Trader Joe's or Whole Foods) and what I use them for:

1. Grass-fed butter ($3.19/227g)

Grass-fed butter is a great source of fat, contrary to all the 'saturated fat is bad for you' nonsense that has grossly slandered this incredible food. Trust me, butter is far healthier for you that "heart healthy" vegetable oils such as sunflower or canola and especially margarine. And as butter is almost pure fat there is basically zero milk protein (whey and casein) or lactose in it, which is why pretty much everyone can tolerate it. 

I put Kerrygold Irish grass-fed butter in my coffee, use it to cook (at lower temperatures), dowse my steamed vegetables in it to help absorb all those fat-soluble vitamins, which require molecules of fat to shuttle them into the cells. So make sure you include at least some fat with your veggies or green smoothie or you will miss out on much of the nutrition. 

2. Grass-fed (New Zealand) frozen ground beef ($5.99/lb)

I would love to buy beautiful steaks of fresh grass-fed beef from the farmers' market but unfortunately I can't quite afford it as a Paleo staple so instead I rely on a good quality frozen grass-fed ground beef from NZ. I use it to make chili con carne (sans beans), bolognese (which I have on steamed veggies) or burgers (on a big salad with a side of baked sweet potato). So good.  

3. Organic spring salad mix ($2.49/140g)

I eat a lot of salads and this is always my base. Kale and spinach contain a high level of oxalates, which are oxidants (they cause free radicals) that can be problematic to those susceptible to kidney stones, those with autism or inflammatory bowl issues such as IBS.

Oxalates are only generally an issue if you consume huge amounts of raw kale or spinach. Since I eat so much salad I've decided not to use kale or spinach as a base. It's better to lightly steam or sauté most greens anyway as mild cooking improves nutrient absorption and makes it easier to consume more. I still eat some raw spinach and kale but not as a Paleo staple. 

4. Unsweetened shredded dried coconut ($3.99/lb)

I love this stuff. I add it to my salads, use it as a flour substitute for my coconut crusted fish and banana pancakes, or sprinkle it on berries and coconut cream to add some texture to my dessert. 

5. 85% cacao dark chocolate ($1.49/100g)

Dark chocolate really is a superfood. It is a great source of magnesium and polyphenols. The polyphenols in cacao also act to block iron absorption though, which is great for me as I have mild iron-overload. If you are iron deficient though I wouldn't eat it (or tea or coffee which also contain polyphenols) within an hour of consuming iron-rich foods if you are trying to increase your ferritin levels. In contrast, alcohol and Vitamin C both increases the absorption of iron so keep that in mind. 85% dark chocolate is a huge Paleo staple of mine but beware, it is energy-dense so if you're trying to lose weight stick to no more than 30g a day.

6. Organic frozen raspberries ($2.99/340g)

Frozen raspberries are cheaper and more convenient than fresh ones. Of course I love fresh berries but I'd rather buy organic frozen ones than conventionally grown fresh ones given the choice. Berries are part of the dirty dozen so definitely something you want to go organic on if you can afford it.  

7. 100% pure coconut water ($3.49/L)

I try not to drink this by itself (unless I'm hungover or need some electrolytes post sweatier-than-usual workouts) but I do put about 100mL of it in my smoothies. I only buy 100% pure coconut water not from concentrate. Coconut water has about 8g carbohydrate (sugar) per 100ml so if you are trying to lose weight I wouldn't be sculling this stuff. 

8. Organic carrots ($1.29/lb)

I eat a lot of carrots. Hence my orange tint which I swear is not from fake tan! I probably eat too many carrots given my propensity to accumulate beta-carotene in my blood (a condition known as carotenemia) but they are such a great snack and I love them so I put up with my orange palms! 

Organic carrots are not much more expensive than conventionally grown ones so I always opt for organic. Don't listen to the "carrots are high on the glycemic index" nonsense. When you consider calories by weight they are extremely low in glycemic load and very high in soluble fiber so eat as many as you want... unless you fear getting accused of fake tanning!

If you haven't already make sure you read my most popular post, My Ideal Paleo Eating Day

Once again thanks for reading and a special shout out to those (Nick, Pete, Hobbs) who have been sharing my posts on Facebook and Twitter!

I've just started an Instagram too... @ThePaleoModel

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the grocery list! I literally just went out and bought half the items on your list :)

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