Alright Whole30-ers. Here is your comprehensive guide to shopping at HEB for Whole30 staples, to include hacks and important reminders along the way. We’ll go aisle by aisle, and if you live in Leon Springs, this will make sense to you. Otherwise you’ll have to figure out how your HEB is organized, but this guide should still be helpful in listing the items you can get at your local HEB!
Quick Note on Additives
Here are the additives you want to avoid: carrageenan, corn starch, MSG, sulfites, and MSG. Click here for a more comprehensive list of what is allowed.
Here’s what I always do: Google it. I type in “Is xxxxx whole30” only to find half the world’s population has already asked it and answered it. I am that obnoxious shopper constantly on my phone, because, Whole30. Get ready to be obnoxious!
Not a HEB Shopper?
Here’s a good Whole30 shopping list for Costco!
Now let’s get started!
I’ll start this section with a “personal preference” recommendation: potatoes.
We eat a ton of potatoes (and sweet potatoes) on Whole30. Potatoes make up for a lot of the other carb sources you can’t have. Befriend them! You will appreciate potatoes in a way you never have before. <3 They have a ton of good vitamins your body needs.
Chopped, spiralized veggies are a huge time-saver! This is a great hack to saving time, especially because Whole30 can be so “chopping” intensive. Why? Because we eat a lot of delicious vegetables on Whole30! And they need to get chopped.
Keep in mind this hack comes with a higher price tag. You can also invest in a food processor to help cut time or accept that you’re going to refine the art of chopping! #chopped
The godsend of salad dressings for Whole30: Tessemae’s. Most Tessemae’s dressings are Whole30, and they taste amazing. You might be able to find additional sauces at Whole Foods. Look at the photo carefully (or click the “Tessemae’s” link) to see which dressings are actually Whole30! Stay away from Green Goddess and Honey Poppyseed… until September 27th.
Personal Preference: Lemon Garlic is bomb.
Get all your Whole30 meats here. Fatty meats are OK on Whole30, too! This is not a “lean and mean” diet. If you have the budget, go for the best choices: grass-fed, pastured, wild-caught, organic. Avoid: processed meats (deli meat, sausages, burgers, bacon) with sugar, carrageenan, MSG, sulfites, nitrites/nitrates.
Note on Budget: Whole30 isn’t cheap! There are work-arounds here, but do not stress yourself in getting the most expensive, top of the line meats and produce. You are already doing your body good by just eating Whole30 items!
The first time Lee and I did Whole30, we made the mistake of getting mild Italian sausage for breakfast. It looked okay, right?
Sugar?! Dextrose?! In Italian sausage?! This was a wake-up call! We lost the first week of Whole30 to this mistake. Make sure you’re reading your ingredients! Sugar is unfortunately in everything.
The deli meat section is long. Some of these are found at one end of the section, and some are found at the other!
Before we get to the good stuff, I’ll give you a couple examples of non-Whole30 (although very healthy looking) deli meats:
Seems harmless, right?
Honey! It doesn’t even taste sweet… how does it hide sugar in it? It just does. Whether honey is a good or bad sweetener is an entirely different debate, and not one for this article. Point is, it’s just not Whole30.
Now here’s Whole30 compliant deli meat:
Applegate Naturals has a number of Whole30-compliant products, but just make sure you read to ingredients to make sure.
Here are other Whole30-compliant meat products:
Because we’re in Texas, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Whole30 chorizo!
Healthy Food Aisle
Kombucha! This is one of my favorites. Sugar is technically required to make kombucha, but the sugar in this is low and only from fruit juices.
The ingredients here include tea, juice, and kombucha culture. Kombucha is not only a Whole30, but a refreshing alternative from water and La Croix. Although the kombucha culture uses the sugars in the juice to ferment, kombucha is considered Whole30 because there’s no added sugar. If you haven’t given kombucha a try, do yourself a favor and get some!
It kind of tastes like juice, tea, and beer mixed together…. but in a good way. 🙂
Break in case of emergency…
Also in the healthy aisle, you’ll be able to find Siete products and Larabars.
Let’s talk about something for a sec before we dive into these amazing snacks:
The goal of Whole30 is to get you to a place of food freedom, where sugar, snacks, and other processed foods release their death grip on you. Finding Whole30 snacks just continues to keep the shackles on. A big part of your Whole30 journey will be asking yourself if you can forego the sweets and snacks to get to the promised land of food freedom, which is where you want to be!
Replacing your cravings with Whole30 snacks and sweets (SWYPO) only perpetuates the cravings and addictions you’re so desperately trying to break free from. Keep that in mind as you weigh your decisions in the store.
That said, there are worse products out there than the alternatives brands like Siete have to offer, and these may be great products to include post-Whole30 as you get settled into a chapter of food freedom.
Siete makes makes tortillas, tortilla chips, non-cheese queso, and potato chips using Whole30 ingredients.
Moving onto Larabars! A Whole-30er’s best friend in moments of no planning. Check this link to see what flavors are Whole30 compliant. Not all are. Anything with chocolate chips, peanuts, or vanilla extract are not Whole30.
Here are some Whole30 Larabars:
Here’s one that isn’t – Blueberry Muffin (I know, don’t shoot the messenger):
Whole30 Protein Powder
Whole30 doesn’t typically advocate drinking your calories, and if you can consume your nutrients through food, even better. That said, there is a line of Whole30 protein powder by Vital Proteins, and it comes in the form of collagen peptides:
Primal Kitchen mayo is Whole30 approved. You can also make your own at home. Recipe calls for eggs…. and 3 cups of patience.
The beautiful thing about this Primal Kitchen line is that they offer more than just regular mayo. Chipotle lime and garlic aioli are two sauces that can add some decadent flavor to your dishes!
Vinegars of all kind are Whole30 compliant and great for flavor! Stock up on different vinegars here, as you will use them for cooking (white, apple cider, red wine, balsamic, rice). You will also find coco aminos here next to the vinegar, which basically tastes like a sweet version of soy sauce (teriyaki, anyone?). Even if you’re not typically a soy sauce fan, believe me when I say you will appreciate anything with flavor… especially salty flavors. Give coconut aminos a try!
Must-Haves: “Coco Aminos” (soy sauce replacement), apple cider vinegar, and depending on the recipes you’re cooking: rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar.
Personal Preference: Big Tree Farms Coconut Aminos
Moving onto the International Foods aisle! Also called “Ethnic” foods. An entire world lumped into an aisle. 🙂
98% of Whole30 recipes call for canned coconut milk. Here are two that have the least additives, are messed with the least, and are unsweetened. If you’re looking for “coconut cream,” which is just the cream and no liquid, this is the same area to find it.
If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine and see yourself making some Asian Whole30 recipes at home, you’ll definitely need to add some Asian ingredients to your pantry. Some options include sesame oil, thai curry paste, and fish sauce (check the ingredients – most fish sauce is not Whole30, although some are).
Hot sauce! A staple on Whole30, because, flavor. Cholula and Frank’s are both staples in our house.
Canned Soup Aisle
Stocks hide a surprising amount of sugar in them. Read your labels carefully here. Yes, “honey” counts as sugar. Here’s one chicken stock that is Whole30.
Tip: If you’re trying to save money, Pacific Foods has a line of vegetable broth that’s about half the price of their chicken stock and also Whole30.
Breakfast Bar Aisle
In case of emergency, break a bag of “Bare” baked and crunchy fruit.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Aisle
Anything BUT peanut butter is a go here! All other nut butters (including coconut butter) are Whole30. Get crazy.
Baking, Spices, Oil Aisle
Lots to choose from! Ghee, coconut oil, and avocado oil are used for sauteing and baking.
- Personal Preference: Massive coconut oil jar from Costco (I know this is a HEB article, but it’s the one I personally have used – plenty of good options at HEB, too!). This will last you awhile, but you will use it a lot if it is your go-to oil of choice.
- Tip: Olive oil is best used cold. Try to work with ghee or coconut oil when applying heat.
- Watch out for: Olive oil can often be diluted with canola oil. It’s a sneaky business.
Personal Preference: California Olive Ranch is one we’ve done a little research on and seems to be more “verified” than others. We’re also big fans of extra virgin olive oil from Costco.
Okay, this is the most underrated segment of any grocery store. Have you cooked with herbs and spices before? They may seem completely flavorless, but Whole30 will teach you how AMAZING and HEALTHY recipes can be with these zero/low calorie additions. Seriously, get creative with herbs and spices. They are your best friend! #garlic #moregarlic
Tip: You can also get these in bulk at Costco to last you for all of Whole30.
Tip #2: Vanilla powder is apparently a good substitute for vanilla extract, which isn’t Whole30 compliant. Haven’t found it at HEB – let the Facebook group know if you do!
Another ingredient in this aisle you may find yourself using often is pumpkin! Straight up pureed pumpkin:
Great for varying the flavors in normal recipes and hitting that “pumpkin spice” craving we have all four seasons. Here are some pumpkin-inspired Whole30 recipes.
Coffee! Coffee is Whole30 (thank goodness). However, coffee with “artificial flavors,” even while black, are not Whole30. Have you seen “artificial flavors” grow on trees? Didn’t think so. Make sure you’re checking the ingredient label on these, too.
Another savior for Whole30-ers. No sugar, no dairy creamer for your coffee or tea. The original creamer can also be used in other recipes you would normally use half and half.
Big things you’ll get here are eggs and non-dairy milk. For milk, you can have coconut milk or a nut milk (i.e. almond milk). Here’s a complete list of Whole30 almond milk.
Tip: Many milks labeled with “original” flavor tend to have added sugar in them. Go for “unsweetened” over “original.”
Tip #2: Carrageenan is found in a lot of different milks – find one without! If I remember correctly, So Delicious has Unsweetened Coconut Milk that is Whole30. Check the ingredient list and tell me if I’m wrong!
Frozen veggies are my jam. Some people may judge me. They’re not “fresh,” and I get that. But there’s also this other precious thing called “time” that I get a lot more of when I use frozen (and chopped) veggies. This is another good hack for pre-prepared veggies. It may or may not affect the taste (due to the freshness). You will have to use your best judgment!
Remember to check the ingredients on flavored frozen veggies. As I point out in this photo, “savory herb” makes this riced cauliflower not Whole30.
La Croixs (or any other sparkling water) are another godsend while on Whole30. Because any flavor is welcome at this point. Carbonation? Even better.
Tip: If you’re feeling cheap, HEB has a sparkling water line, too. No shame in our budget game.
Another refreshing and tasty beverage is coconut water (have you figured out coconut is 98% of Whole30, yet?).
And now we head on over to check out!
Want more tips on Whole30? Check these out!
And when you’re almost done with Whole30, stay on track by checking out these tips!
Interested in becoming a more confident, healthier, and happier version of yourself? Reach out to us here at CrossFit Lobo. Let us help you get your nutrition dialed in today.