Primal Grocery List

This list should help you sort out the crap from the good stuff. Don’t get to caught up in grass-fed*, free range*, pastured* and organic** labels. Buy the best food you can afford. Buying in bulk from big box stores can really cut costs. I buy most of our meat, fruit, veggies and nuts from Costco. It gets expensive feeding a family of four, especially one with a teenage boy/man.

The Good Stuff:

  • Eggs – Eat the yolk, one of the most nutritious foods and affordable protein sources. Buy free range if you can find them and can afford them.
  • Meat – Buy the best you can afford (pastured*), try new kinds (elk, bison, venison), include organ meats which are very affordable.
  • Poultry – Dark meat, light meat, skin on, buy it all. Pastured* chickens/turkeys are the best choice but difficult to come by in cold climates (chickens can’t forage in the cold and snow).
  • Pork – All cuts including bacon. Try to look for bacon without nitrates/nitrites. Ham tends to have added sugar and other nasty additions – check the labels.
  • Fish – Wild fish is best. I eat a lot of canned salmon and tuna.
  • Vegetables – Whatever you love – but remember potatoes, beans and corn are not vegetables. Buy organic** if you believe they are better. I’m not convinced (yet!) that they are worth the premium dollars.
  • Fruit – Again, whatever you love, but limit how much you eat (can be very rich in carbs). Berries are a great choice (avocados are a fantastic berry, yes, they are a berry). Tropical fruits can be very high in carbs so be careful.
  • Oils/Fats – Olive, coconut, nut oils, butter, lard. Avoid soy, canola and vegetable oils of all kinds. I love nut oils for salad dressings, I prefer their lighter taste to olive oils. Render the fat from the bacon you cook.
  • Nuts/Seeds – Buy them raw and in bulk. Grind up in a food processor or blender (if it can handle it) to make nut butters, far superior in taste to the store-bought kind. Keep them in the freezer to extend their life. Peanuts are a legume so best to avoid.
  • Spices – Any kind, dry, fresh, whatever. They add incredible flavour and are nutrient dense. Be careful of the mixed steak spices and the like as they may have lots of added crap, check the labels.
  • Dairy – Don’t be afraid of heavy cream, the fats are good for you. Look for cheese without modified milk ingredients. I like Jarlsberg.

The Garbage:

  • Grains/Starches – Avoid all kinds, in all forms (even whole grain) including potatoes, pasta, rice and corn. Eat veggies, such as broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, they have more nutrition and fibre and they won’t raise insulin levels. Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed in moderation.
  • Processed Foods – Anything made in a factory can’t be good. Check the label – sugar, soy, canola, words you can’t pronounce – avoid as much as humanly possible.
  • Low FatAnything with this label is BAD! Let me repeat, Bad!. Avoid like the plague, as they are full of sugar. When you remove the fat, you remove the flavour so sugar is added to put back flavour.
  • Bad Oils/Fats – Canola, margarine, vegetable, trans-fats (a given). Rule of thumb – is if it had to be overly processed or hydrogenated to make it edible stay away – far, far away.
  • SugarAll things with sugar. I truly believe that sugar is the biggest culprit in the obesity, modern disease, diabetes, etc. epidemic in Western society. I love them, so I know how difficult this category will be to eliminate. Start by eliminating carbonated sodas and all fruit juices.

*For grass-fed/pastured food check out Eat Wild.

**For organic foods check out Local Harvest.

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