Whole30 Essentials

Whole30 Essentials

Whether it’s your first or tenth Whole30, preparation is key. I’ve put together my list of Whole30 essentials that make it easy to shop and even easier to prepare meals and snacks. I like to keep the staples on hand so when I come home hungry and just need to eat something, right that minute, I don’t have to cook something that takes forever and I don’t have to worry about it being complaint.

I have also included a produce cheat sheet as well as my favorite, no fuss, Whole30 recipes. For easy Whole3o shopping at Trader Joe’s, be sure to check out this previous blog post.

If you are totally unfamiliar with Whole30, pop over to this post to get the run down. Essentially you are eating clean, whole foods and reading tons of ingredient labels. With that covered, here are my essentials.

The Staples

These are all the staples I prefer (i.e I don’t eat seafood and I only buy chicken breast) and this list is not all encompassing of everything I use or eat on Whole30 but hopefully it can give you a starting place or serve as idea starters.

Easiest way to shop is stick to the perimeter of the store, shopping for the fresh produce and meats. There are usually hardly any ingredient labels found in these areas.



  • Sweet Potatoes – All potatoes are now ok on Whole30 but I still tend to go with the slightly healthier Sweet/Yam variety. I eat a whole lot of them on Whole30, either baked as chips or fries.
  • Easy grab fruit – I go with Bananas and Apples (also perfect for when I add Almond Butter for a protein packed snack)
  • Veggies to roast – My go-to’s are brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, red potatoes. Choose whatever you prefer, I like to do two or three different ones at a time for my lunches.
  • Onion
  • Avocados
  • Lemon/Limes
  • Garlic
  • Shallots


  • Oils – I prefer Coconut and Olive
  • Seasonings – Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute is my go to for any type of meat, it is good on chicken or steaks.
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Condiments – I am obsessed with Crystal Hot Sauce on my eggs and spicy brown mustard goes a long way as a condiment or ingredient in homemade salad dressings. Just make sure you check the ingredients on the mustard, many are ok but some sneak in sugar.
  • Almond & Cashew Butters – Both are ok and great for a protein packed snack.
  • Kombucha! I was so excited to learn it is OK! Some brands anyways, read more on which and why here.
  • Sparkling water – we don’t have a whole lot of drinking options on Whole30 and this is one of my favorite.
  • Easy to pack and grab snacks – my favorites are Larabar (anything but the peanut butter options) Epic Meat Bars (some have sugar so make sure you read the labels) Barnana banana bites, RX bars, and nuts.
  • Meal prep containers – I prefer Emerald Living to prep and store my lunches and dinners.


  • Trader Joe’s has a lot of great Whole30 items in the freezer section including any of their frozen burgers.
  • Eggs, Eggs, Eggs – Hard Boil for a snack or salad topper. Or eat them fried every morning with avocado like I do.
  • Chicken Sausage – there are Whole30 sausages out there, just make sure you read the labels and check for sugar.
  • Steak
  • Pork (Chops or Loin)
  • Chicken Breast
  • Beef of all varieties – Since I stock up and freeze, I like to check the Manager section for meats that are on sale and still fresh. Freezing them same day so I save money and sometimes can score high quality meat for cheap.
  • Ready to eat roasted chicken and turkey in the deli section are also great when you are in a rush or don’t want to cook!


Easy Whole30 Recipes

These are my favorite, simple recipes. I usually will eat them once a week because they are quick and easy to make. I will post some of my favorite, slightly more complex recipes later. But for now, here are the easy and delicious go-to’s.

I should also preface this with, these are meals for one. Of course some go along way in the week but you will note I am cooking one steak, one sweet potato, etc. If cooking for more than just yourself, increase as needed. 🙂


Chia Seed Pudding:

This is great for breakfast or mid-morning snacks. Think of it as a yogurt alternative. I will eat it as is or sometimes add in berries. You can make it all in one larger container or separate out into smaller ones to pack and take to work or school. This does take a few hours to set up so I make it in advance.

  • 1/3 Cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 Ripe Banana (You are going to mash it so brown is better)
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk

In a large bowl (I do this right in the large tupperware I plan to store it in) mash banana with a fork. Stir in can of coconut milk. Add in chia seeds and stir to combine. Once combined, store in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. If you are going to separate into smaller containers, now is the time to do so. The chia seeds will expand making this a pudding like consistency. Serve alone or top with fresh fruit!


Sausage & Onions:

I mean, it really doesn’t get any simpler than this. This is my dinner or lunch when I am hungry now and can’t be bothered to think. This is super easy and so delish.

  • 1 or 2 Whole30 Compliant Sausages (depending on hunger level)
  • Half a Large Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Slice onion in half and chop off the end. With wide end on chopping board, slice onion like you would a pizza so you have long thick sections. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high in a frying pan and add in the onions. Season with salt and pepper and begin to saute them while you slice the sausage.

Slice sausage width wise into thick, chip like sections. Add to pan with the onions and cook until done. I use chicken sausage that is already pre-cooked so make sure whatever sausage you are using is thoroughly cooked to the required temperature.

Serve and enjoy! It’s seriously so good I don’t think you need anything else but if you want you can add some Whole30 compliant spicy brown mustard.


Steak & Sweet Potato Fries:

This is another one that is just so easy and convenient on a night when you want something substantial but don’t want to put a lot of effort in. I eat a lot of steak and sweet potatoes on Whole30 and it never gets old for me.

  • Your choice of Steak
  • 1 Medium Sweet Potato
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic Salt
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Wash the sweet potato and peel if you prefer no skin. Slice the sweet potato into fries, you can make them as thin or thick as you want. I tend to go thinner because I like them crispy and to cook faster. Now another tip to crispy fries is to leave them on a paper towel for 10-15 min to let the moisture come out of them. I don’t ever really do this because it adds time, but you can if you want for crispier fries (or chips).

Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and spread fries out in a single layer. Season with garlic salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven 20-25 minutes flipping about halfway through, until the desired doneness you prefer.

While fries are cooking, pat steak dry and generously season with salt and pepper on both sides. Don’t be afraid here, this is where your flavor comes from. On medium-high, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a frying pan and cook steak to your desired doneness, anywhere from 3-6 min per side. Set aside to rest while your fries finish then serve!


Guacamole & Sweet Potato Chips:

This I eat for dinner as is but you can also use for a party or just a snack. There are many different ways to make guacamole, you can add extra’s in, etc. This is how I like it, simple and easy to make. It also keeps for a few days because of the lemon so you can use to top off your eggs in the morning!

  • 3 Ripe Avocados
  • 1 Lemon
  • Garlic Salt
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Medium Sweet Potato (long and skinny are perfect for chips)
  • Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 450. Wash the sweet potato and slice thinly into chips. I tend to go thinner because I like them crispy. Similar to the fries above, the tip to crispy chips is to leave them on a paper towel for 10-15 min to let the moisture come out of them after slicing. I don’t ever really do this because it adds time, but you can if you want for crispier chips.

Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and spread fries out in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I usually drizzle a little more olive oil on the top before placing in the oven. Bake in the oven 15 minutes and use tongs to flip them over. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until they are crispy but not burnt. I usually take out some of the thinner ones as they look done so they don’t burn. Set chips aside for a few minutes before serving and they will continue to crisp up.

While fries are cooking, cut the avocados in half, removing seed and peel and place in a large bowl (I usually do this right in the tupperware container I plan on storing the leftovers in). Mash avocados with fork and season with salt, garlic salt, and pepper to taste. Add in juice of 1/2 to a full lemon to taste, stir. Be aware that you have two salts so make sure you don’t over salt it. This is really a personal preference game so add until you get the taste you prefer. If you have added too much garlic salt, add in some more lemon.

Serve with your chips and enjoy!

Organic or Not

I try and buy organic as often as possible and it’s getting easier now that organic is carried more prominently at all stores, however there are some items you can save your money on.


The Dirty Dozen are the items you should always buy organic because they are the produce that is the most highly sprayed with pesticides. *ish because I included more than 12

Bell Peppers
Green Beans

The Clean 15 are the items you can save your money on and buy non-organic. They are not highly sprayed with pesticides or their natural layers and way they are grown protect them against the pesticides. *ish because I included more than 15

Sweet Corn
Sweet Peas

If you need to save money or you just don’t have organic options, you can always use a fruit and vegetable cleaner to remove the pesticides before eating.

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1 Comment

  1. January 2, 2017 / 8:00 am

    I had know idea how well you can write! Your writing kept me interested….that doesn’t happen too often. You look amazing and your body shows how well you eat and exercise. I look forward to reading more recipes and what to buy or not buy for healthy foods.