I know how overwhelming it is when you begin making changes to your diet and you just don't know where to start, especially when you're trying to cut a lot of foods out. It's even more complicated when you're trying to go organic and there's only certain organic produce in stock or in season, etc and you're also trying to keep to a budget. I find supermarkets stressful and don't always have time to go down to our local farmers market on a Saturday, so I now use Abel and Cole and I really enjoy it. I get overwhelmed with the choices and can sometimes get stuck in a rut, so I generally close my eyes and get my bf to do it at the weekend and just see what turns up on Monday! Because it's seasonal, admittedly we are limited to what's available, so sometimes we do get the same veggies in on a weekly basis. Occasionally we may run down to Sainsbury's and buy something different like corn on the cob or green beans (they haven't been in season for ages and I miss them), but this is rare because I usually can't get them organic.
There's only two of us and being vegan, we cut out the costs of meat and dairy - we're also not big drinkers and I of course need to avoid alcohol as it can worsen endo symptoms, so buying a bottle of wine only happens at the weekends and not very often (even then, we can't get through the thing!). Because of all this, our food shopping list is pretty cheap. The most it reaches with Abel and Cole is around £45 - and that's when we've had to buy things like toxin-free household cleaners and detergents, but it can sometimes be just £25. On top of that, I often buy some 'superfoods' like chlorella, cacao powder and bee pollen and there's a few oils I like to pick up and teas from our local health shop. When I need to stock up on those, it could take the weekly shop to around £60 or more, depending on how much I need - for example, if I ran out of a few things it could get expensive, but if it's only one item, then I may only be looking at £5-£10 more.
This food shop covers our breakfasts (smoothies/porridge), snacks and lunches and dinners for the week. We tend to eat breakfast out at the weekends and usually make about two meals at home, so we do spend a little more at the weekend.
Below is what we're currently ordering, giving the season and this changes every few months so it does vary.
Cupboard Goods we stock up on -
Dried beans and pulses (we soak these and sprout them, to make them easier to digest)
Lots and lots of garlic
Supreme Matcha Green Tea by Pukka
Nut butter (I go for one without palm oil, to be nice to planet)
Fresh produce or dry goods we get through so quickly we need to order weekly! -
Avocados (we usually get through 2 - 4 a week)
Spinach/Kale/Rocket/Leafy Greens - we get two of whatever is in season or available.
Sweet red peppers
White and/or red onions
Rice pasta or noodles
Gluten free falafel mix
Blueberries and raspberries - I buy these organic and frozen from my local health store, as they're cheaper and I get more than I would if I ordered them fresh online
Oat milk x 2
Canned coconut milk (if you can get cartons or a company that state no BPA in lining, that's ideal, as many cans have toxins in them that can affect endo in one way or another. Biona are a good choice)
Canned chopped tomatoes (again, looks for jars, cartons or BPA free cans)
One or two bunches of fresh herbs like mint, coriander, basil, parsley or oregano
Exotic/citrus fruit such as pineapple, grapefruit, oranges
Sometimes if they're in season/ fancy a change/ need for a recipe -
Blackberries - I would have these every week if I could, but they're only in season for a short while.
Cucumber - this would be on my regular list, but whenever we buy it we don't get through it quickly enough and it goes off!
Asparagus - this would be on the weekly list, but we make enough dinner for our lunches the next day and I hate asparagus cold and it also goes a bit limp and drab overnight. It's just too complicated trying to work out what else to cook for lunch. But I love it and now I've just said all that I'm going to make an effort to cook with it more frequently!
Celeriac - I'm on the fence about the taste of this, so sometimes, if I'm brave, we order it.
Mushrooms - I so wish I liked mushrooms, but I just can't. They're so good for you and my bf loves them, so occasionally they get diced up small and slipped in to stir-fries and I spend an hour picking at my food. I'm gonna change it though, because they're full of nutrients.
Vegan pesto - when we're feeling lazy/no time.
Coconut yoghurt (not flavoured dairy yoghurt, but yoghurt made from coconuts)
Medjool dates - we'd get these weekly, but organic they're expensive and also high in sugar, which heightens inflammation and pain, so they're usually a treat (stuffed with almond butter).
This list isn't exhaustive so please don't use it as your only guide, because there's so many other beautiful fruits and veggies out there like peaches, plums, apples, yams, runner beans, squash, peas, etc. Our list would be more varied, but because we've gone organic and seasonal, there's only so much we can get and it's also about what your suppliers provides. If I see something in Sainsbury's that's organic and I haven't had in ages, I'll nab it, because variation is key to a healthy diet. Another thing to mention is that the weekly list is a bit rotational, we don't get all that in one week, at one point we were but we just weren't getting through it all and sometimes it's tough having so many vegetables to prepare (Abel and Cole aren't pre-chopped and packaged). We also try not to go over the £45 mark so we only buy what we need, though if we had a bigger budget I would definitely be stocking up on all the fruit! And that's another thing - you might have noticed the list is low on fruit, this is for two reasons really, one is that sugar has an adverse affect on the body, especially inflammation, and once I've had my smoothie, I have to watch my daily sugar intake. Another reason is that it's likely I have a lot of bad bacteria in my gut, from my sessions with my nutritionist, and sugar will feed this bacteria and help it thrive. I will be starting a plan to remove this bacteria and replace it with the good stuff, but until then, I'm trying to not exacerbate it.
So there it is - my weekly shopping list. I hope that helps you get an idea of the kind of stuff to stock up on. I will also be doing a post on what my average daily diet looks like and another post on why going organic is so important, and which fruit and veggies can you get away not being organic.
Enjoy! :) x