I’m a bit late to the Whole30 bandwagon, I’ll admit it. The program has been around for 10 years now, but I (along with my husband) only did my first round in January of 2019. Ever the Type-A individual, I read the books, did my homework and promptly made a meal planning spreadsheet that accounted for every single meal we ate throughout the month. But what helped more than any of the prep was a small army of Whole30-approved products available on Amazon.
As you may have heard, Whole30 is a notoriously strict program for those of us used to shoveling just about anything and everything into our mouths in the name of sustenance. It’s meant to help you break some bad eating and drinking habits while also allowing you to sniff out exactly which foods may be causing you gastric or other bodily distress. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: no alcohol; no sugar (added, real or artificial); no grains (the list is extensive); no legumes (yes, this includes peanut butter and soy in all of its myriad forms); no dairy; and no carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. It’s also worth noting that the program prohibits using approved ingredients to mimic foods you’re meant to be cutting out of your life. This means you shouldn’t, for instance, make pancakes out of some mixture of mashed bananas, egg and coconut flour (but after reading that mini recipe, would you even want to?).
If, after going through that list of banned foods, you’re wondering what in the world you are allowed to eat, the simplest answer is “whole foods”. Not to be confused with the pricey Amazon-owned grocer of the same name, Whole30 wants you to focus your consumption on whole foods (albeit approved ones) like meat, vegetables, fruit, legumes that are more “pod” than “bean” (like green beans) and eggs. Lots of eggs. If that sounds less than exciting, that’s where these Whole30-compliant products from Amazon make life much more palatable — pun intended. And you may be pleasantly surprised how many of these items you’ll crave even after you finish the program.
As I prep for a new Whole January in 2020, these are the Whole30-approved items I’m already stocking up on. While many are also available at your local supermarket, the convenience of Amazon (paired with my desire to avoid the grocery store at all costs — lest I add non-compliant foods to my physical cart in a weakened state) means I’m all about the subscribe and save button. At least until February.
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Justin’s Almond Butter Packets
Snacking is a no-no on Whole30 (since it’s all about breaking old habits and forging new ones), but if I’m being honest that’s exactly what these packets were for me. I kept a box of these babies in my desk at work and paired with a sliced banana, Justin’s Almond Butter would tide me over until lunch when I would bust them out like clockwork around 10:30am most days.
Nutpods French Vanilla Creamer
Last year it took me approximately two days to learn my first Whole30 lesson: I can’t stomach black coffee. Or coffee with almond milk. To put it simply, these French vanilla nutpods creamers saved me. With my rate of coffee consumption, I went through approximately one container a week, making this four-pack perfect for a January Whole30. Also worth nothing — this creamer froths beautifully in my Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother.
Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend
When you live in New York, everything bagels are just a way of life. But thanks to grain and sugar, the doughy circles are foodstuffs non grata on Whole30. But thanks to the Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, I could get the everything flavor — as the jar states — without the bagel. To be frank, I put this sh*t on everything I ate for breakfast.
Larabar Lemon Bar
Replacement foods are strictly verbotten on Whole30, but I found that last year I needed something to cure my sweet tooth. After spending some time on a Whole30 message board, I discovered that a handful of Larabars are compliant and I was forever changed. If you like PTA bake sale-style lemon bars, you will find comfort in these six-ingredient wonders.
Primal Kitchen Mayo
For a condiment that is supposed to consist of eggs and oil, mayonnaise is a surprising Whole30 rebel (largely due to the fact that soybean oil is a common base and many are loaded with added sugars). Primal Kitchen makes a pretty extensive range of Whole30-compliant products and this mayo is one we kept going back to. It’s a bit pricer than your standard supermarket mayo, so this year I’m planning on putting our brand new immersion blender to use and DIYing it. But if you aren’t so inclined, add this to your cart ASAP.
Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce
I think I literally jumped for joy when I noticed Rao’s was on the nice list of Whole30-compliant foods (most jarred sauces will include off-limits ingredients like sugar and soy). Ever since my mother-in-law told me she could drink this sauce straight from the jar if she had to, I’ve been hooked and it is the only red sauce we buy.
Note: Depending on where you live, the price to buy this on Amazon may be close to double the price at your average grocery store. In New York, I regularly see this available on our local grocer’s shelves for $7-8 per bottle. Needless to say, we stock up when they’re on sale for $5.99 a bottle. This is one Whole30-compliant item that deserves a perennial spot in your pantry.
Bragg Coconut Aminos
Asian-inspired dishes can be a bit hard to square into a Whole30 lifestyle since soy is a “don’t”, but coconut aminos makes it a bit easier. Let me start by saying this is not an apples-to-apples ingredient swap; coconut aminos don’t have the salty kick that traditional soy sauce does — it’s a little sweeter and slightly nuttier in flavor. But when you’re whipping up fried cauliflower rice, this does the trick.
That no dairy rule unfortunately means no butter while you’re on Whole30. But an approved ingredient swap is ghee, otherwise known as clarified butter. This is another ingredient that is likely cheaper if bought in your local grocery store (or grocery delivery service). Depending on your cooking habits, you may or may not need to rely heavily on this butter substitute.
Larabar Apple Pie
If lemon is too strong a flavor for you, Larabar’s Apple Pie bars are a delicious alternative that, thankfully, keep you in bounds of the ultra-strict Whole30 rules.
Primal Kitchen Dressing/Marinade
Most salad bottled and bough dressings and marinades include sugars, soy-based ingredients and more. Last year I DIY’d my salad dressing and used the Primal Kitchen Mayo as a base in many a homemade sauce, but this year I plan to be far more efficient with my food prepping time and can’t wait to try this three-pack of dressings and marinades. And no, dear reader, your eyes are not deceiving you: that is a Whole30-compliant ranch dressing. Insert all the heart-eyes emojis here.
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