Stocking a Health-Bent Kitchen

The more prepared you are to eat a Paleo/Primal/Low-Carb diet the easier it is to stick to. We’ve all had times when there’s nothing in the house to eat, and we slip–we go out and pick up questionable take-out or eat something from a can. Not that it’s the end of the world when it happens, but the easier it is to make that decision to cheat or slip-up, the more frequently it is made. This list is a guideline, it’s definitely not the end-all, be-all. This is just what we try to always keep on hand.

We would like to stress the importance of making a menu. I know… it takes a lot of freaking time to make it and shop for it. But you have to do it. It is so helpful when we go the grocery store. If you think eating this way is expensive, I would highly recommend that you try  making a menu and see if you don’t save a bit of money. Why? Because we’re not buying all kinds of odds-and-ends that rot and spoil before we even remember we bought them.

Another way to save is to buy in bulk or on We always buy our nuts and nut butters from the bulk section or from the discount warehouse club (Sams, Costco). Another thing, nut pieces are always cheaper than whole nuts, so if a recipe calls for chopped nuts, buy the pieces and save yourself some time and some cash.

Dry Pantry

  • canned tomatoes (diced, crushed, sauce and paste)
  • canned artichokes
  • canned fish, packed in oil (boneless, skinless sardines, tuna, salmon, anchovies)
  • chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • coconut milk (canned)
  • dessicated or finely shredded coconut
  • coconut shards/flakes
  • almond flour
  • almond butter (we buy ours for $4.99/lb in the bulk section)
  • chicken, beef and/or vegetable stock/broth
  • nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios)
  • sweet potatoes
  • onions (yellow and red)
  • garlic
  • coffee/tea (herbal, green and black)
  • chocolate chips (at least 70% cacao)
  • protein powder


  • eggs (1 dozen boiled, 1 dozen raw)
  • smoked salmon
  • salami
  • curry paste (green and red)
  • mango chutney
  • mustard (dijon, yellow and whole grain)
  • horseradish
  • capers
  • olives (green and black)
  • roasted red peppers
  • hot sauce
  • chili garlic sauce or sriracha
  • pickles
  • banana peppers
  • coconut milk (carton)
  • lemons & limes
  • English cucumber (the long and skinny one, doesn’t need peeling or seeding)
  • ginger
  • mushrooms
  • green onions
  • some sort of leafy green
  • carrots
  • celery
  • avocados
  • cauliflower
  • other vegetables that look good


  • homemade chicken/beef/vegetable stock
  • ground meat (beef, bison, chicken, pork)
  • bacon
  • cheap meat cuts (shanks, ribs, shoulder, etc.)
  • steaks (flank, skirt and sometimes the fancy stuff– sirloin, ribeye, NY strip, filet, etc.)
  • sausages
  • fish & shrimp (whatever was on sale)
  • bananas (peel removed before placing in the freezer)–we put these in our protein shakes
  • frozen chopped spinach
  • frozen squash puree

Spices & Cooking Fats

  • powdered garlic
  • powdered onion
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • oregano
  • red pepper flakes
  • yellow curry powder
  • chili powder
  • smoked paprika
  • powdered ginger
  • cayenne pepper
  • celery salt
  • spice blends (Old Bay, lemon pepper, steak rub, etc.)
  • wheat-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • balsamic vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • red and/or white wine vinegar
  • sesame oil
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  • vanilla extract
  • other extracts (almond, coconut, orange, peppermint, etc.)
  • cocoa powder
  • sugar (honey, brown sugar, cane sugar, etc.)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • rendered bacon fat
  • coconut oil
  • macadamia nut oil
  • almond oil
  • avocado oil


16 responses to “Stocking a Health-Bent Kitchen”

  1. if you’ve got a place outside for a perennial herb garden or some pots of herbs that helps as well. we have a patch of fresh rosemary, oregano, lavender, tarragon, mint, sage, thyme, chives, bay…..and seasonally grow cilantro and basil and an occasional wild card or two.

    we can call this the “outside pantry”.

  2. I LOVE this post! I was just about to write my own blog about making a grocery list for a paleo diet but i’ll just send my readers/crossfitters to your site! It’s really nice to have this on hand because even though it seems like a lot, you don’t actually have to buy this all in one trip. Slowly building your pantry up with supplies (that actually last quite a while) is easy to do and so helpful with recipes!
    Thanks so much! Love the new site! My boyfriend even mentioned (just glancing at it) that it seems super easy to navigate.

    1. that’s exactly right, this stuff lasts forever! i’m sure we’ll be adding to it as time goes by. i doubt we remembered everything….

  3. Where do you buy your almond butter from?

  4. Nevermind 🙂

  5. This is a very comprehensive pantry list! Thank you for sharing this! BTW, we’re looking forward to getting our HB t-shirts. My hubby e-mailed you last night about issues he had with ordering but said you were quick to respond by e-mail. I’m a huge fan of HB and can’t wait to show it off around Denver!

    1. guys are awesome! i see you’re always ‘thumbs up’-ing our recipes on facebook, so i just put two-n-two together with your husbands email last night. very cool. thank you for the support! i’ll have the shirts in the mail thursday.

  6. Very good list. A lot of times you can find yourself thinking “I’ve got nothing I can eat.” Yet, with a list like that, you can essentially mix and match and come up with something that will work.

    As a snack tho, nothing’s better than a 1:1:1 ratio of walnuts, pecans, and chocolate chips – what I consider CRITICAL to maintain stocked at all times, lol.

  7. I am all about trying to live/eat this way. But seriously, has anyone figured out how to do this with two full- time working adults, two small children and their needs, sports schedules, exercise schedules and, oh yeah, trying to have some, sort of a life! Thoughts?

    1. well…it’s kind of like other things in life…some things worth having don’t necessarily come easy. you do have to want it bad enough to look past the hassle. we help people with children and busy schedules at our gym all the time.

      cooking once and eating twice is a big help. aka…always make enough for leftovers when you cook.

      and you’ll need to stock up on storage containers…on weekends or in free time you can even make and store up to 3 meals ahead of time.

      then…you prepare yourself with some of the other things off the list like sardines and olives etc…for when the goin’ gets really tough and you just have to grab.

      eggs are your best friend!

      hope this helps.

      1. I’d like to take that inquiry a step farther … busy and two kids is a pipe dream for us .. we’ve got 8, half of whom are playing in competitive soccer leagues and I coach 4 teams and teach fitness classes. Busy doesn’t begin to describe us (but that’s a whole ‘nother topic…) but the real issue for us is how to keep a sane eating program front burner when many nights in any given week, we’re relying on a babysitter to oversee the smaller ones (our range at home is 2 – almost 16 .. the other one a junior in college). We have come a long way but still feel like we struggle on the food front … would love to hear how others with large families handle things…

  8. Just learning Paleo eating. I thought sugar should be avoided all together. The mango chutney, sugar, srachi – why are they ok?


    1. b/c avoiding sugar 100% isn’t realistic. fruit has sugar. any starchy veggie is technically sugar. we add and use it for flavor.

  9. I clicked on your link for coconut milk on the bottom of the page under the heading “What we cook with”. Just wanted to let others know, if you do a search for coconut milk on Amazon, there is also a subscribe and save option for the exact same kind. BUT, if you bought 2 of the six packs, instead of the 12 pack that is linked, the cans are $1.91 each as opposed to $3.46 each. HTH 🙂

  10. i know this is an old page, but i just found it!
    i’m pretty impressed: everything on this list i have either had at one time, to try out, or currently have. except for the nut oils and the pureed squash – neither of which i have ever had need for. (i have an anti-squash family, which is sad for them because i love it.) i also notice that my list always has red bell peppers and romaine lettuce (which is our preferred leafy green) and parsley or cilantro of some kind.
    Great list! gonna remember this link when i’m pondering my shopping list…

  11. Phil Hankins

    I guess whole-milk cheeses are out?

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