Since I’ve started Whole30 I’ve received a few messages and emails asking me exactly what food I am eating and where I am buying it.
A lot of the information out there is US based and while it’s great to read through some of the fantastic recipes and resources from America, it can be frustrating when we can’t buy the same ingredients here.
So here’s my guide to Whole30 shopping in the UK. It’s by no means definitive. I’m currently coming to the end of my first Whole30 so I hope to continue to add to this guide as the months go on. If you have your own tips for shopping or great ingredient finds then please do mention them in the comments below.
For a printable list simply click on the link here ———-> Whole30 Shopping List – Printable Version
WHERE I SHOP:
I recently started shopping in Lidl once a week and have noticed a definite reduction in our food bill. I buy some meat and veg/fruit from our local village butchers and green grocers and I also do any top-up shops in my local Sainsburys.
Luckily most of the meat you get in the UK is from grass-fed animals but I would still recommend buying the best that you can.
I can’t afford to buy all our meat at the local butchers so I buy free range chicken and organic mince and beef from Lidl. Most sausages I have found contain some kind of grains but these Debbie & Andrew’s Sausages are wheat, gluten and dairy free and probably the most Whole30 compliant sausages out there. I buy bacon from the local butchers.
Fish is quite cheap at Lidl so I always get a few salmon fillets there and any other fish they happen to have that day. Their frozen prawns are also very good value. I like big tiger prawns, which I think are about £2.50 per pack.
Amazingly Lidl is the only place where I could find Smoked Salmon that didn’t have sugar added to it!
I usually buy a dozen free range eggs in either Lidl or Sainsburys and pick up some extra at the butchers too.
FRUIT & VEG:
I buy most of my fruit and veg at Lidl, organic where possible. If you can’t afford to buy all organic fruit and veg (like me!) then you should just concentrate on the “dirty dozen”; that’s the twelve fruit and veggies that generally have the most pesticides:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas
If you can’t buy any organic veg then don’t worry, just make sure you wash all your produce before eating or cooking (which we should be doing anyway)
I’ve been doing some reading lately into fruit and how fructose levels can affect weight loss. So for example I’ve been trying to limit my banana intake to a maximum of one a day but snacking more freely on berries.
Lidl is fantastic for large bottles of Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, much cheaper than other supermarkets. Some supermarkets such as Waitrose sell Coconut Oil. I bought mine from Holland & Barrett and it’s also available easily online. Lurpak now sell Clarified Butter as part of their new “Cooks Range” and that should be available in all supermarkets.
Lidl are great for packets of nuts. I also buy some from Holland & Barrett. Meridian make Almond Butter & Cashew Nut Butter, available again in Holland & Barrett and some supermarkets.
Desiccated Coconut and Cocoa Powder are wildly available. Again, buy organic if it’s available. I’ve yet to buy some Cacao Powder (which is in a more natural state than cocoa and so healthier) but I will let you know where I get it very soon.
I bought a large bag of Coconut Flour from Amazon but it should be available in some health food shops too.
I buy Coconut Milk, Coconut Water and Almond Milk from any of the usual UK supermarkets. My favourite Coconut Water is from Vita Coco. It’s more expensive than normal fruit juice but I use less than one carton a week so it doesn’t work out too costly for me. Any Coconut Milk is fine, so long as it’s the full fat variety. I buy Alpro Almond Milk (unsweetened) but hope to start experimenting with making my own soon.
Sauces have been tricky for me – everything seems to contain sugar! I love Thai food so was delighted to find Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste in Tesco. I also love a good chilli sauce. My favourite Sriracha was out due to the sugar content but this Frank’s Hot Pepper Sauce has been a good replacement.
Olives, Tinned Tomatoes and Passata are obviously available everywhere, but just be sure to check the ingredients list to make sure they are sugar free. The same with Red and White Wine Vinegar.
Stock can be tricky as most of the usual dry stock cubes contain wheat and sometimes sugar too. I bought some fresh Chicken Stock from Waitrose that just contained chicken and vegetables but it was relatively expensive so I wouldn’t buy it every week. The best alternative is obviously to make your own.
A well stocked Herb & Spice cupboard has been invaluable to me. I’ve been able to create everything from steak rubs, to fish marinades and curry powders; all for mere pennies!
I haven’t put snacks into their own category in my shopping list as technically you are not supposed to snack on Whole30. But the reality is, sometimes you will feel a bit peckish between meals, especially in the first week of while you are still getting used to your new eating habits. I have found a handful of nuts to be really good at satisfying any cravings. If you are hoping to lose weight on Whole30 just be careful of portion sizes. Don’t obviously sit down with a whole bag of nuts every evening!
Nakd Bars are also great to have to hand. Most are made up of cold pressed dates, raisins, nuts and fruit flavouring. Just be careful which type you chose as some also contain oats or soya crispy bits.
Somedays if I feel like an after-dinner treat I will make up a bowl of berries drizzled with coconut milk. It’s so sweet and really tastes like you’ve had dessert. Cocoa or cocao powder is great too. Just sprinkle a little onto fruit or in smoothies for a chocolatey treat.
So that’s my basic UK Whole30 Shopping List. If you have any foods or brands that you’ve found really helpful during your Whole30, or know of anything that you think I should try, please do let me know in the comments below.
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Hi, I’ve found a coaco powder which I’m sure is sugar free. I found it in Morrisons. Rowntree coaco powder.
Thanks for posting this. So helpful!!! Have been following your journey and am inspired to give it a go so this list and the article will really help me get started. x
Thanks for this useful article. I’ve spent quite some time reading ingredients on packages in food shops lately (more than usual as I am coeliac). What I have been unable to find is any almond milk that does not contain any of the unwanted substances such as lecithin etc, in even the Alpro unsweetened ones. Do you know which Alpro milk is free of these non-whole30 compliant ingredients? I have been happy to find coconut milk which has filled the gap but at £3/litre a pop this is not an economic replacement to almond milk.
Am at the end of day 10 of my first whole 30 and have already appreciated many positive changes:more comfortable/clean GI tract, flatter stomach and generally feeling more attracted to healthier food choices.
Cheers for your input.
Blue diamond almond milk is compliant, cheaper and absolutely delicious!
Susan Monk says
Thanks for this Ciara, I was wondering about Bacon. I’m on day 2 and hubby likes streaky bacon (I’m not too fussed about it). I started having a Frittata for breakfast – eggs, mushrooms & tomato and would like to add bacon. As to sausages, make your own without all the ‘extra’ ingredients. 100% beef chilli, Chicken, Sage & Onion (without breadcrumbs). Turkey & Ham – all with various herbs and spices (my mouth is watering just thinking about them). Anyway, I will be following your blog. Here’s to the next 28 days.
This is a great list. I’m contemplating doing Whole 30 with my husband – we both need to lose weight and friends of ours have done it to great effect. My only hesitation is what to do about our kids – age 11 and 9, they won’t be interested in this kind of eating (hard enough to feed them at the best of times!). Do your kids join in, or do you adapt/cook completely separately for them?
Sorry if this is actually covered elsewhere (point me in right direction and I’ll have a read). I just found your blog whilst googling Whole 30 and haven’t yet read the rest of it – sorry!
Ciara Attwell says
Hi Diana, I tired to adapt as much as possible to what my family usually ate as I hate cooking separate meals. So I would for example maybe cook us all a stir fry / curry / bolognaise and the rest of the family would have rice or pasta and I would have cauliflower rice or spiralized veggies. Hope that helps!
Susan B says
I loved this post! I’m American living in the UK and was struggling to find things like whole30 from the perspective of how it’s done in the UK! Thanks so much!
Ciara Attwell says
No problem at all Susan!
I am in the same situation, an American living in the UK, so this is great for me as well. Plan to start Whole30 as soon as I’ve read through it completely. I already have a stock of nuts (no peanuts), ghee and coconut oil, and love veg and fish. Where I will be experiencing issues is with the starches. I am part Italian and a meal without pasta is unheard of in our family! Anyway, wish me luck!
Thanks so much for this list. I am just about to embark on the Whole30 but the veggie way so a bit different but this really helps to point me in the right direction. I really wish I could find a compliant stock cube/bouillon. I really can’t see me making my own veggie stock. I have Marigold Organic at home who’s ingredients are:
Sea Salt, Yeast Extract, *Rice Flour, Vegetables 8% (*onions, *carrots, *celery), *Palm Oil, *Turmeric, *Parsley. Not totally terrible but rice flour definitely not on plan unfortunately and I wasn’t sure about Yeast Extract.
Ciara Attwell says
Hi! Best of luck with your Whole30. I still maintain it was one of the best things I have ever done for myself and my body. To be honest with you I wasn’t 100% compliant with mine and used things like that Marigold bouillon every so often in my cooking. I figure if that was my worst cheat then I was doing pretty good! Good luck!
Thank you so much for this list! 🙂
I’m currently doing my first ever whole30. I am just on Day 3 though, but really want to stick to it.
I have been looking for compliant sausages for quite a while, but the ones linked above seem to have sulfite in them, so not compliant unfortunately.
I get Denhay bacon from Sainsbury’s as my local butcher’s bacon is not compliant either 🙁 Denhay isn’t perfect, but it’s a bit of a grey area with the official whole30 rules!
I just added Frank’s redhot to my shopping list! Thank you 🙂
Ciara Attwell says
Thanks for the info about those sausages. I had a feeling they were not 100% compliant but I guess they’re the best of a bad lot! Good luck with your Whole30!
Thank you! Day 6 and still going strong 🙂
I found compliant sausages at Ocado – the Laverstoke Park Organic Cumberland Sausages! I have not tried them yet though, but looking forward to them now 🙂
Made my own mayo on Saturday and it is lush!! Loving it 🙂
Ciara Attwell says
Sounds like you are doing brilliantly!
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says
This is a really great guide for people doing Whole 30.
I have recently started shopping more in Aldi and Lidl and it is so much cheaper and still really good quality too.
Ciara Attwell says
They are brilliant aren’t they. Went again today and got so much cheap stuff!