June 01, 2015

Paleo Grocery List

Ok, you're doing Paleo now and want a grocery list?  

This post was originally submitted to us as a family list, so that's what we'll start with. 

If you scroll down you'll find what Lee & I buy on a weekly basis as well, so you have an idea of how you can shop for a couple vs a family.

Let's start with the Family list.

The Family Basic Paleo Grocery List

There are certain things to make every week and other meals that to sprinkle in here and there, so every week the Ober crew buys these items and then a few others for those “sprinkled in” meals.

  • Carrots (5 lbs every week – we like carrots)
  • Broccoli and/or other green veggie for roasting
  • Cucumber (3)
  • Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
  • Yams
  • Baby Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Berries and/or Cantaloupe
  • Bananas
  • Apples (I get a big bag so it may only be every other week)
  • Meat: either beef or chicken. (I buy bulk or family packs of meat and I alternate which meat I’m buying each week to try and stay on budget while eating Paleo. I freeze what I don’t plan on using right away.)
  • Organic uncured bacon
  • Ground pork or chicken sausage
  • Organic Free Range Eggs – lots of eggs - I typically buy 3 doz per week for use in salads and breakfasts
  • Unsweetened Almond milk
  • Organic Canned Tomatoes
  • Organic Whole Milk (not paleo - but my 7 & 3 year old will NOT drink almond milk)
  • Almonds (every other week or so I buy a 3 lb bag of raw almonds and roast them for snacking and making almond butter)
  • Sunflower seeds (roasted, unsalted)
  • Pepperoni (for salads and paleo pizza)
  • Larabars

*We buy organic whenever we can for as much as we can!

Nik & Lee's Grocery List aka Shopping For A Couple

We roll with a few standard ingredients we always keep in stock, then usually cycle through what's at the Farmer's Market or in season.

Always in stock:

  • Canned Coconut Milk
  • Coconut Oil
  • Kerrygold Grassfed Butter (for my morning butter coffee)
  • Rendered pig fat (Nik renders this once every few months and we store it in the fridge.  We cook pretty much everything in pig fat.)
  • Olive Oil (usually Kasandrinos)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sardines
  • Lemons
  • Salt & Pepper

From there, we hit the Hillcrest Farmer's Market on Sundays in San Diego and pick up meat and eggs for the week from Da Le Ranch.  A typical haul might be:

  • 2 lbs of tri tip
  • 1 lb of pork sausage
  • .5 lb ribeye, flat iron, or New York Strip
  • 12 eggs

That gives us a ½ lb of meat per day to split.  That's not a lot, but we're not exercising a ton and really don't need that much meat.

If I'm lifting (twice a week) I'll split a can of sardines with my dogs when I'm done with the session.  Seriously, unless you're trying to be a mega-human (soldier, competitive CrossFitter, Firefighter, Policeman, serious athlete etc), you really don't need much meat.  

Caveat:  If I (Nik) go for a long run or do a hard hike, I might stop and pick up extra meat, carbs, or even launch off the wagon and grab a burrito.  That is, say, a once a month or less occurrence, and it always hurts me the next day, but damn, after a long hard push it's hard to beat a California barrizzla with steak and guac and cheese and sausage and fried potatoes!  

I'm sure some asshole will come after me for not being a strict Paleo superhero, but look, I stand 5' 8" and weigh 150 lbs give or take 3 lbs. I can drop a 6:15 minute mile with 5 minutes notice or run for 2 hours at the drop of a hat, squat my body weight 20 times, and grind out enough pull ups to pass any military test on the planet.  While I've got enough body fat on me to last for 3 days of continuous low grade output, you'd probably call me slender.  What I'm doing works for me.  Remember, it's what you do 95% of the time that matters.  

We're here on the earth to enjoy our time, and that means occasionally spending time at both ends of the spectrum.  As an example of the other end, here's our report on a 5 day water fast.  Yes, the opposite of a burrito.

Back to our normal routine:  

We'll add to our weekly meat haul whatever's in season:  Avocados, arugula, beets, tomatoes, sprouted greens, squash, artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, chard, celery, carrots, kale, radishes, etc.  Think "colorful vegetables, no grains" and you've got the gist of it.

If I'm shopping I'll usually buy a serving or two of fruit per week, say a small flat of blueberries, strawberries, or a few apples.  We add these to salads and I chop up small servings for our dogs.  

If Lee's shopping she usually doesn't buy fruit.

We have butter coffee for "breakfast", skip lunch, then a meat and salad for dinner followed by a Cacao Now.

Some things to note are items that are still Paleo but that we rarely or never buy: Bananas, oranges, pineapple, mangoes. 

Those just have way too much sugar for us.  I'll grab 'em when I've just finished a long endurance push (say, 2+ hours of exercise) and don't want to do the burrito thing, but most fruit today has generally too much sugar to be considered anything but dessert, and if you're doing to do dessert you might as well eat a Paleo Treat

Short Recap of Paleo

  1. Colorful Vegetables & a little Fruit
  2. Meat/Fish
  3. Healthy Fats

Here's a big ol’ list of things you CAN choose from. Beware of the fruit sugar load!

Find your favorites, or even something you've never tried before and hit the farmer's market and grocery store to get shopping!

Paleo Friendly Vegetables:

  • Acorn Squash
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beets
  • Bib Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Butternut Squash
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Collard Greens
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Garlic
  • Jicama
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard Greens
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Shallots
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini

Paleo Friendly Fruits (watch QUANTITY, these are all relatively high in sugar)

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Clementines
  • Dates (WAY high in sugar)
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Passion Fruit
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
  • Tangerines

Paleo Friendly Meats

(grass fed, organic, free range when possible)

  • Bacon  - Pete's Paleo has the best bacon we've ever tasted
  • Beef
  • Buffalo/Bison
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Eggs
  • Game Meat
  • Goat
  • Lamb
  • Organ Meats
  • Pork
  • Turkey

Paleo Friendly Fish:

(Wild caught preferred over farmed)

  • Anchovies
  • Bass
  • Cod
  • Flounder
  • Halibut
  • Mahi
  • Perch
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Scallops
  • Shellfish
  • Shrimp
  • Tilapia
  • Tuna

Other Paleo Staples:

Coconut milk
Coconut oil
Dried fruit (without sugar added) is a great snack option VERY occasionally.
Ghee (considered Primal by Paleo purists)
Nuts/Seeds - (Stay away from anything salted or flavored – you don’t want any extra chemicals.)
Olive oil
Shredded coconut (make sure it’s unsweetened)
Spices – go organic when you can!

What are you waiting for?

Make your own list and hit the grocery stores with your Paleo Grocery List in hand.

Liked this article about buying Paleo groceries?  Here are a few more you might enjoy!

Nik Hawks


Nik Hawks helps run the show at Paleo Treats. Fascinated by humans in all their strange glory, Nik is harnessed in and pulling hard in pursuit of excellence with the rest of the PT Crew. Enjoy!

Too much reading...
How about dessert?

Too Much Reading...How About Dessert?


Nik @ PT
Nik @ PT

February 19, 2017

Hi Ruth, we get our bacon from Pete’s Paleo. Not sure about Paleo pepperoni, just have to read the labels (I know, it’s a PITA.) Happy cooking!

Ruth Kantrowitz
Ruth Kantrowitz

February 19, 2017

Hi, thank you for the recipes, will try some soon. Where do you find organic uncured bacon and paleo pepperoni? I am not able to find either without sugar. I’ve only found one sugar free bacon and it’s not organic.

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