We want you to keep going with this. Forever. We are in this for the long-haul and we can find a way to make eating whole foods a consistent and enjoyable part of your life! The habits we have now have developed over our lifetime, so it's realistic to change them slowly, a day at a time, starting today!
Getting in the routine of planning meals can take a little bit to get used to but it's totally worth it and can make your life much, much easier (and healthier). I would suggest making sure you have successfully planned and made/packed multiple meals at home before moving on to Step 4. Sound good? Here it goes!
Step 4: Buy Whole Food "Staples"
In Step 1, you already started buying your whole food "staples" by getting some coconut oil, olive oil, and grass-fed butter. But there are a few other food items I would suggest having on hand as you start trying out some new recipes, along with a good variety of quality meat, fruits and vegetables of course!
- Unsweetened, Full-Fat Coconut Milk - Make sure to check the ingredients and pick the can with the fewest.
- Coconut Flour - I get mine on Amazon through subscribe and save. A little goes a long way!
- Raw Nuts - Roast them at home to avoid low-quality fats, added salt and to increase digestibility.
- Cacao Powder - I also buy this on Amazon through subscribe and save. Cacao powder is processed at a much lower temperature than cocoa powder, so it keeps more nutrients, vitamins and enzymes in the final product.
- Chia Seeds - They can be found just about anywhere and are pretty inexpensive.
- Organic Spices - Sea Salt, Pepper, Cinnamon, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Basil, Oregano, Thyme, and Rosemary are great basic variety to start with. I get many of my spices at Thrive Market.
- Pure Grade B Maple Syrup - For the occasional sweetener that has amazing flavor & very little is needed at a time! You will laugh when you eat the traditional "syrup" found in most grocery stores after this stuff!
Who isn't, right? I'm always trying to find these products at a better price. The big stores like Costco and Sam's have many of these products for decent prices but you have to keep your eyes open for them since they have such a fluctuating inventory. My other two favorite places to save money on specialty food items is of course, Amazon, and Thrive Market (imagine Whole Foods meets Costco online!). Since they both deliver straight to my door, I already save money but staying out of the grocery store!
You can also watch the ads at your local health food store(s). Something Sprouts does here that is really awesome, is Double Ad Wednesdays. I don't have to watch the ads and coupons nearly as much if I simply change my shopping habits and go there on Wednesdays.
It may seem a little bit expensive as you start to accumulate these products into your kitchen but most of them take a while to get through, with a little going a long way. I've said it before and I'll just keep on saying it... buying and eating quality food WILL SAVE YOU MONEY in the future. The cost of real food cannot even compare to the cost of surgeries and hospital stays, so let's try to do what we can now to hopefully prevent needing them!
The truth is, besides the spices and maybe the nuts or chia seeds, you don't really NEED any of these products. If you are okay with very simple, real food, then more power to you! I mainly suggest these products because they will make your transition from more familiar but less-healthy foods, to new, whole foods easier. It's totally up to you on how you want to approach your "whole food journey."
Another day, another step. See you at Step 5!