My husband and I really enjoy Whole30 and stick to it 90-100% when eating at home. It’s not just because of how we feel, it’s the actual foods!! We love the whole, fresh foods! Eating these foods the majority of the time has helped us to not keep treats, chips, dairy, peanut butter (yes I said it!), in the house unless there is a special reason like company or prepping for an event. That being said, after 6 rounds, we’ve learned what our Whole30 must-haves are and we do our best to keep those items fully stocked.
Now if you have arrived to this page and are now wondering what in the heck “Whole30” is, please check out the program rules––or better yet, get the book––and do a little more reading to see if this might be a program that you would benefit from. (I’ll save you the trouble, you’ll benefit, I promise! Give it a try! 🙂 )
Ok, so what do we have in our pantry? Or better yet, what are the items we always keep on hand, because when you’re eating Whole30, many of these items won’t be found in your pantry, but instead in your fridge or freezer! I’m going to give you an idea of the items we don’t like to live without — having these things ensure we’ll be able to always throw together a delicious meal!
Our Whole30 Must-Haves
**Be sure to check all labels close!**
Canned Chicken and Tuna
You can whip up plenty of delicious meals with either of these. In the summer time, chicken or tuna salad on spinach or in lettuce wraps is a fast and convenient lunch! I also love to add canned chicken to meatless soups to make them a little more hearty. And, if you are really in a pinch, just eat the can!
Great on veggies and fruit. Or, if you like peanut butter burgers, try substituting almond butter. Just grill your burger, some onions and bacon — assemble as usual just change the topping. If you are far enough along in Whole30, you won’t even notice the difference!
Also great when you don’t think you can make it while dinner is cooking… have a spoonful! 🙂
There are a number of awesome recipes you can “fall up” by adding some pumpkin. I always like to keep a couple of cans on hand for that. I’ve also found pumpkin mixed with some unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon sprinkled on top to be a great post-workout option.
Some yummy pumpkin-y recipes:
Plantain Chips, Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds
These simple items can be added to any salad or soup and to take it up a notch with a little crunch. We don’t use a lot––a tablespoon of seeds or 4-5 chips. Just enough to get a crunch!
Nuts and Dried Fruits
We keep lots of these on hand. Nuts make a great pre-workout. Dried fruits go great on salads. Or make a fruit and nut mix when you have a long day and need a snack. Or you could try this fruit and nut breakfast bowl!
Always a great idea to keep these items on hand, lots of Whole30 recipes call for them. And if you have them, you have a lot of options!
- Diced tomatoes
- Green Chilies
- Tomato Paste
- Coconut Milk
- Coconut Cream
- Dijon Mustard (check label!)
- Salsa (check label!)
- Hot Sauce (check label!)
Like asian dishes? This item is a must on Whole30 if you do. You can create some great compliant meals with this soy sauce substitute. Here are just a couple of our favorite dishes:
Cooking Fats & Vinegars
We keep all of these on hand so we can have different flavors and keep things lively!
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Sesame Oil (for asian dishes)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Light Olive Oil (also for Whole30 Mayo)
- Coconut Butter
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Balsamic Vinegar
Add to any meal for some easy fats! Plus, YUM!
Just be careful with these… if dates make you feel like you are having a treat or if you can taste the sweetness in your dish and it keeps that Sugar Dragon awake — better skip it!
If you are doing Low FODMAP, skip them. But otherwise, you can add them to any dish for more flavor. Salads, soups, eggs.. And get a variety! We use them all. Red, white, yellow, green! 🙂
Lemons & Limes
You’ll use lots of fresh squeezed juice, so it’s best to keep plenty of these around, ready to go!
Our favorites are red, sweet and baby potatoes. We always have a big bag of them because we go through them fast! Such a great addition to almost any meal and a great substitute for grains.
My first couple of rounds, I riced my own cauliflower. Then I discovered companies were selling it already riced! I haven’t price compared because the convenience far outweighs the cost savings in my book! I always keep a couple of bags in the freezer for emergencies!
I keep finding more uses for apples on Whole30. Not only do they make a good snack — but my taste buds have changed so much that I love them in many dishes. So I now always keep a bag of green apples on hand. Here are just a few of my favorite dishes that include an apple:
Add them to soups or stir-fry or have them with some almond butter! Such a versatile food! And here’s a couple of options for dishes centered around this veggie:
We always keep these proteins on hand during Whole30. They are our favorites and we can make just about anything with them for any meal! Especially when we have the above items. If we find recipes that require different cuts of beef, ground turkey, sausage, etc, we will of course buy those things too, as needed.
I recommend you agree on some favorites, buy in bulk and keep some in the freezer. That way you’ll always be prepared and it will ensure a great round of Whole30!
- Ground Beef
- Pork Chops/Loin
- Chicken Breast/Thighs
These of course are not the only things to have on hand, they are just the things my family has learned we can’t live without after 6 rounds of Whole30. This list will vary for every family, but it’s good to know the staples you need to have a successful reset. Explore and keep a journal, try new recipes. The more you get to know Whole30 ingredients, the more this reset can become part of your daily life.
This may be our Whole30 must-haves list, but it has also become our “all the time” must-haves. Because of the success we’ve had with Whole30, we do a better job of staying compliant when eating at home and our brains, guts and joints can tell!
But let’s not stop here… do you have a favorite, compliant Whole30 must-have food not listed here? Please share! I’d love to know what I’m missing out on! 🙂