10 Must Have Ingredients for Surviving Whole30

August 30, 2017 in Stories

My sister is starting a Whole30 this week so I thought it would be a good time to do a quick round up of the 10 Whole30 must have items that got JR and I through our 30 days! Again if you are unfamiliar with Whole30, I did a recap of our experience here. It is essentially a 30 day food challenge where you cut out all processed food and then some. We survived all 30 days and I have been checking my calendar for another 30 day window to do a second one while produce is still fairly in season. If you are interested in doing one I highly recommend reading the book first. It does require a bit of planning but with some good meal prep and these 10 Whole30 must have items you will be set! 

  1. Pickles

I am obsessed with pickles. I could eat a jar a day. I actually started typing this and stopped and went and grabbed a few to snack on and then came back. Claussen pickles (which can be found at most grocery stores) are compliant and in my opinion, one of the best tasting pickles out there. Ingredients you need to watch out for with pickles are sugar and corn syrup and of course any MSG, carrageenan, or sulfites. Some will contain sodium benzoate and polysorbate 80 but those are ok. I have also heard Bubbies are recommended but I have never tried them. Check out the Whole30 pickle thread here.

  1. Watermelon

We are huge watermelon junkies in our house. We go through a giant one once a week. Watermelon was a great snack – along with pickles – to have around the house when hunger strikes. You have to cook a lot of your meals with Whole30 and if you are hungry the last thing you want to do is wait for something to cook. Watermelon and pickles were our go-to to hold us through until supper was ready.

  1. Salsa

I wasn’t always a salsa person but the past few years it has grown to be a staple in my cupboard. We bought the Chipotle Lime Salsa from Aldi (where we did the majority of our shopping) and was psyched to have such a flavorful option that was compliant. I would add this to my omelettes in the morning and it really helped keep eggs from getting too boring.

  1. Olive Oil

When you are first starting out just go ahead and buy the largest thing of olive oil you can find. We cooked so much and you have to make all your own dressings so we went through about 5 normal sized things of olive oil. Olive oil is one of the pricier Whole30 must have items so go big or go home – you won’t regret it. And while you are getting olive oil…

  1. Vinegar

Pick up some red wine vinegar while you are at it. Obviously with pickles and vinegar you can tell I like things on the tart side. I didn’t mess too much with the complicated sauces and dressings and for salads I would mix up 2 parts olive oil with 1 part vinegar and a bit of salt and pepper, shake it up, and mix it into my salads. This is a habit that has stuck and we currently don’t have a single bottle of salad dressing in our fridge or pantry.

  1. Guacamole

Aldi has these great little packets called Little Salad Bar. They have a large container and smaller single serving packets. I went through about 3 of the single serving packets and didn’t mess with cutting up avocados too much. Anyone else terrible at telling when an avocado is not ripe/too ripe? Just me? Ok….

  1. LaCroix

If you are a big soda drinker you will probably be missing a little carbonation here and there. LaCroix is thankfully Whole30 compliant and is definitely a Whole30 must have. I recently fell in love with the Coconut until someone told me they thought it tasted like tanning oil and now I too think it tastes like tanning oil. Sorry if I just ruined that for you….

  1. Larabars

My sister was gearing up on groceries this past weekend and asked me where to get some Larabars. We got the best price at Sprouts but also would pick up a few at HyVee now and then. I will say while Larabars are a great holdover (like pickles and watermelon) they are packed with sugar from all the dates. We relied on these on the two trips we had since we were in the car but we both got terrible headaches from all the sugar. Use sparingly for sure. Our favorite flavors were cashew cookie, cherry pie, and the lemon flavor.

  1. Farmland Bacon

This may be a Midwest brand but we bought multiple types of bacon and this one from Farmland is compliant and was by far the best tasting. We got our’s from HyVee but I think Walmart, Target, and Price Chopper are all good bets too. Again it’s the “Farmland Naturally Hickory Smoked 33% Less Fat 35% Lower Sodium Center Cut Bacon.” 

  1. Dump Ranch

I didn’t end up making this homemade dump ranch as much as I thought but if we traveled more or needed more convenience (I work 3 feet from my kitchen) I would have made it 10x more. It tastes awesome – almost better then store bought ranch! This is also good if you are a vegetable hater like someone I know….JR.



Those were our most used items along with some good protiens, veggies, and fruit! My other lifesaver was Kelsey over at Little Bits Of… Her site is packed full of Whole30 resources including some great shopping lists and recipes. If you are ready to start your Whole30, check out her shopping lists for the stores below!

Aldi  |  Target  |  Thrive Market  |  Ralph’s/Kroger  |  Sprouts

Have any of you done a Whole30? What were your go to items?



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