First off, you've gotta find a local farmer's market or farm stand that has a reasonably priced selection. For us in Olympia, WA, it's either the Olympia Farmers Market (which can get pretty pricey), or my location of choice: Jay's Farm Stand. 2 minutes away from the local Safeway, Jay's is a convenient, cheaper choice.
I can't lie: over half of the items in my fridge are from Trader Joe's--it's definitely my go-to grocery store. However, if you aren't seeing a nutritionist, it's sometimes hard to tell if their"healthy" snacks are very healthy at all. I've had some luck: their eggplant hummus, dried fruit bags and selection of nuts. Other than that, better safe than sorry.
Here are the staples of my gluten-free, paleo fridge (and freezer):
- Smoked, pre-cooked salmon fillets, great on salads.
- Regular fish fillets (salmon, cod, etc.), perfect for baking with some veggies and rice.
- Canned tuna and salmon, great for salads.
- Selection of vinegars, tahini and oils to make a homemade vinaigrette dressing.
- Sauerkraut (I love local OlyKraut brand - original).
- Unsalted/unsweetened creamy peanut and almond nut butters.
- Zuccini, cucumber, bell peppers, carrots, lettuce, mushrooms, cilantro, cherry tomatoes.
- Coconut oil--great for just about everything.
- Unsweetened coconut milk, perfect on oatmeal or in your morning coffee.
- Organic oats with no additives (for oatmeal).
- White jasmine and brown rice.
- Regular white quinoa.
- Canned black and organic refried beans.
- Marinated canned veggies (olives, red pepper, etc.).
- Hummus, delicious with veggies or veggie chips.
- Avocados, great source of fat.
- Strawberries, kiwis, tangerines, raspberries, blueberries, gala apples.
- Plain tofu (I cut it up into small squares and broil "tofu tidbits" to put on salad and in stir-fries).
- Soy milk. Substitute: unsweetened coconut milk.
- Dairy (if you can help it). Substitute with the above.
- Any sweet drinks: juice (even "natural"), soda. I will admit, Jared likes his TJ's tangerine juice!
- Canola and safflower oil (hint: these are in almost everything you might think is "healthy"). Substitute: olive and coconut oil.
- Processed foods and all salty/sugary snacks (hint: throw out the crackers and bread!)
- All sugary sweets except the occasional dark chocolate.
- All wheat and carb-heavy grains. Substitute: rice, quinoa and oats (all GF).
- Banana, or at least limit your intake (hint: way too much glucose). Substitute: berries or kiwi.
- Category two vegetables: potatoes, carrots, yams, etc. (hint: moderation is key). Substitute: anything green.
They're not the healthiest things in the world, but if worst comes to worst, I opt for some gluten free sweets, dried fruit or dried veggie chips with light salt (I love dipping veggie chips in hummus).