I thought it would be fun to share a grocery haul/whats normally in my refrigerator and kitchen post. Many of the unnecessary ailments in our society today can be cured through plant based nutrition. Ailments such as: acne, body weight, digestive issues, sleep issues, fatigue, diabetes, energy levels, hair loss/hair quality, moods, etc. If you are suffering from any of these ailments, or know someone, this post may be beneficial to help change your quality of life! Check out ‘My Vegan Story‘ for more on my overnight journey to this energizing lifestyle.
This is a lengthy post to help you get started on a plant-based vegan lifestyle. Keep in mind these are just ideas! You have to find what works for you.
I do most of my shopping at Jewel/Mariano’s for produce (or a fresh market if possible) then Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for more of the vegan specialty and superfood items. You will want these specialty items at some point, trust me 🙂 If you don’t have these stores or a natural health food store in your area, check out my store on Amazon. Let me know if you have questions too.
Be prepared to spend lots of time in the produce section! My favorite place of all! Your cart will be filled with beautiful + colorful fruits and veggies. The large amount of fruits and vegetables I started buying was kinda funny at first… but now I love it. Also, it’s important to buy organic if you can. I know it’s more expensive but to me, it is SO worth the few extra dollars. I don’t want to skimp out on the quality of fruits/veggies, or else, what’s the point?
Organic is more nutritious containing more vitamins and minerals than non-organically grown veggies/fruits. Organic is free of pesticides, chemicals and is non-GMO. Have you noticed that organic fruits/veggies never look the same?! That is a good thing! Our fruits/veggies should never look identical with added waxes to make it look shiny and pretty, it’s just not natural. I listed the “Dirty Dozen” below for you as well for a guide to buying organic. The “Dirty Dozen” is a list of produce to always buy organic because they are the most highly sprayed with pesticides and chemicals. There are actually 14 because they recently added two items. Check out the “Clean Fifteen” list too.
“DIRTY DOZEN” – Apples, Strawberries, Grapes, Celery, Peaches, Spinach, Bell Peppers, Nectarines, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Sugar Snap Peas, Potatoes, Hot Peppers, Kale/Collard Greens
I like to plan out for a weeks worth of food, so I don’t end up going to the store everyday and buying more things I don’t need! Usually I go shopping on Saturday or Sunday if I can. Since fruits and veggies don’t have the longest shelf life, I might end up going to the store again in the middle of the week to pick up additional fresh produce but it just depends. You will probably have to adjust your list to your liking and because I am buying for two mouths to feed — my love has a huge appetite! Sometimes we end up with leftover fruits/veggies, sometimes we run out, this is just a list for you to go off of, get ideas and experiment with.
Listen to your body and buy the rainbow!
I will start with the produce from a local grocery store or fresh market. I am listing the items I normally have on hand, I don’t always buy these weekly; just as needed. When first starting out as a vegan, you may have to spend more but that is just to start out, I have found my grocery bill has actually gone down (if I don’t over indulge in the pricey super foods!)
PRODUCE + other items from any local grocery store:
- 8-10 bananas ( I like extra so I can freeze them for smoothie bowls or “nice cream”
- 4 oranges or grapefruit
- 3 mangoes (if in season)
- 1 package blueberries
- 1 package raspberries/strawberries
- 5 apples
- 6 lemons (for my morning water, green juices and salad dressings)
- 3 limes (for juices and dressings)
- 1 pineapple or 1 watermelon for the week (if in season)
- 3-4 tomatoes or 1 pack cherry tomatoes
- 1 large knob of fresh ginger (for juices and sauces)
- 2 English cucumbers (they’re seedless)
- 2-4 bell peppers
- 2 avocados
- 1 head celery
- 1 large package of mixed greens/spinach
- 1 small head of purple cabbage
- 1 large package or 2 bunches of kale
- 1 bag of brussels sprouts or 1 asparagus bunch (LOVE to roast them in the oven)
- 2-3 heads of broccoli
- 1 bag of carrot sticks (for juices and salads)
- 1 bag of baby carrots (for snacking!)
- 2 red onions
- 2-4 potatoes/sweet potatoes
- 1 pack of mushrooms
- Garlic (for dressings, sautéing, roasting with veggies)
- 1 bunch of Parsley, Basil, Cilantro or Mint
- 2 cartons of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or soy, coconut, cashew, hemp, rice, hazelnut; any plant milk of your choice)
- 2 Soy/almond/coconut yogurts
- tortilla chips/rice crackers
- salsa (Make sure it’s free of added ingredients/chemicals)
- 2 cans of organic Chickpeas, Black Beans, or Kidney Beans (or buy in them dry in bulk and prepare at home)
- Spicy dijon mustard
- Gluten-free Organic Tamari or Soy Sauce
- Vinegars for salad dressings (Balsamic, Red Wine and Apple Cider)
- Ground Saigon Cinnamon (for coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, even chili)
- Chili powder
- Ground Cumin
- Cayenne Pepper
- Dried Oregano/Basil/Parsley
- Turmeric, Curry Powder, Garam Masala
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
It may seem like a lot but it will be used if you plan it right! It’s important to be stocked up so you have options, otherwise you will be left hungry with nothing in the house, and probably become lazy and run to the nearest McDonalds or something. It happens.
I always keep my kitchen stocked with plenty of beautiful fruits/veggies. When it’s in front of your face, you will be more likely to choose it as a snack rather than running to pick up candy or a chocolate bar, or whatever it may be. There are plenty of other snack ideas as well, other than chips and salsa. There’s rice cakes, popcorn, veggie chips, hummus and carrots, apple and peanut butter, Larabars, Kind bars, Pure Bars and fresh fruit is always the perfect snack!
WHOLE FOODS (check out their bulk section too)
- Coconut sugar – I use it for baking and desserts
- Shredded, unsweetened coconut for a smoothie bowl topping (I like the Let’s Do Organic Brand)
- 1 packs of Ezekial sprouted tortilla wraps, for tempeh or veggie sandwich wraps (in freezer section)
- Larabars, Squarebars, Pure Organic Bars or any vegan granola bar
- Granola – or try my Chewy Rawnola Recipe
- Brown rice or Brown rice pasta (friendly for gluten-free tummies)
- Quinoa, any color (sometimes I buy it at Costco in bulk)
- Nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, in bulk, sometimes at Costco too)
- Vegan cheeses (I tend to stay away from vegan cheese (its so processed!) but it’s an option for cheese lovers – Daiya is a great brand)
- Maca powder (superfood powder for smoothies, oatmeal, overnight oats)
- Gogi Berries (for a snack or topping in oatmeal, smoothie bowls and granola)
- Chia Seeds (to make chia pudding, chia jam or add in smoothies)
- Hemp Hearts (topping for salad or smoothies)
- E3Live – a superfood liquid fresh algae that I can’t live without
- 1 container organic Tofu, extra-firm, – Check out my Sesame Veggie Tofu Stir Fry
- 2 tempeh packages – Tempeh is a mix of cultured soybeans, brown rice, millet and barley. Its similar to chicken meaning its a “blank slate” for any sauce or marinade (pictures from my tempeh recipe here)
- 1 package pre-steamed lentils (my favorite!!)
- 1 pack of fancy medjool dates (to snack on and for some dessert/nice cream recipes)
- Shelled Edamame (in freezer section)
- Rolled Oats (they’re gluten free) – for overnight oats, rawnola and desserts
- Hummus – I love their Mediterranean kind, to snack on with carrots, cucumber, celery or pita crackers
- Almond Butter – raw, unsalted kind
I mentioned earlier I would discuss how my boyfriend (Marty) stays vegan. It was a slower process for him but he truly wanted to try it out and see what it could do for his body. By no means is he perfect with it – he still orders pizza on occasion. If we are eating out he may order something with meat but he stays away from all dairy. Since I do all of the cooking at home, that’s when he eats plant based. I’m not one to push this lifestyle on people, he just wanted to try it after watching the documentaries with me and becoming more aware of where his food is coming from. I consider Marty in “athlete” type shape because he works out 7 days a week religiously, so he needs to eat a lot more than me to maintain his weight. Usually, I will make him a green juice and/or a smoothie everyday for breakfast along with overnight oats or leftovers from the night before. He will supplement his workouts with a raw protein powder shake/smoothie. He loves my Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, Spicy Veggie Bean Chili, Sesame Kale Glow Bowl and especially my Vegan Spring Rolls. He will snack on hummus with tortilla chips, carrots + cucumbers or chips with salsa. He loves ALL fruit, especially oranges, pears and watermelon. If fruit is already cut up in the fridge, he will eat it but he won’t think to cut it up himself.. boys haha.
We also always have raw nuts, chips and salsa, popcorn or fresh veggies to snack on. It’s all about planning ahead, having the options in your house and making your favorite foods, but vegan style! There are so many recipes to try; being in the kitchen and making dinner together can be fun too. Marty absolutely loves this lifestyle now. He feels better than ever and has a newfound understanding of what a healthy whole foods lifestyle actually is. He recovers quicker from workouts and craves all the fresh foods… well most of the time ha. Balance.
I hope this post has inspired you to incorporate more fruits/veggies and plant based recipes into your diet. Keep in mind, these are just suggestions. I would love to know what you keep in your kitchen!
Living plant based has been so rewarding, not only for my health, mindset and spirituality, but my overall happiness and outlook on life. The food is fresh, colorful, full of life and will keep you lean and young 🙂 what’s not to love?
**For a complete plant based vegan starter kit, click here for my Glow Effect Guide!