Step 2: Shopping List

Please be patient with this page as it’s a work in progress.  I’ll include some loose guidelines for shopping below and will be working on a more extensive shopping list with specific items moving forward.

General Shopping Guidelines

  1. Protein: Buy all kinds of eggs, meat, fish, fowl without restrictions other than you should buy raw ingredients instead of processed or pre-cooked in most cases.  Beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, shellfish, eggs, etc. are all totally acceptable.
  2. Veggies: Stick to green and leafy green vegetables for the time being.  Lettuce, avocados, broccoli, chard, celery, sprouts, peppers, mushrooms, and even carrots are all ok from my experience.
  3. Fats: coconut oil and olive oil are good.  Butter is great too.  Fats are good, honestly.  See the note below about fats, but basically you’ll need to get over your fear of fats.
  4. Fruit: Berries are great and that’s where I stop.  All kinds of other fruits are technically ok on this diet so go for it, but you’ll have to experiment for yourself and test things like apples with iodine before eating them.  Bananas are notoriously starchy so I’d avoid those.
  5. Milk and Milk Products: I avoided milk for the first week and then introduced it back in after my diet was “clean”.  It presents absolutely no problem for me, but I’ve heard of other folks w/AS who have issues with it.  For yogurt: read the labels and DON’T buy lite or reduced fat varieties as both of these types need to make up for the lack of texture and consistency when they take out the fat, and so they often add corn starch back in as a thickener.  Corn starch, tapioca starch, etc.  They’re all bad, umkay?
  6. Snacks: sardines, some nuts (macadamia, almonds,  walnuts, but NOT peanuts as they’re legumes, not nuts), eat leftovers from dinner and breakfast as well.

Special notes:

  1. Regarding Fat: fat is good for you.  Read either one of Gary Taubes excellent books if you need an expert opinion on the matter: “Good Calories, Bad Calories“, or “Why We Get Fat: And What We Can Do About It“.  The second book, Why We Get Fat is a much “easier” and less technical read than GC/BC.  It’s basically a slimmed down version of GC/BC, so I’d recommend that one unless you’re a total geek and can handle GC/BC, in which case that book is outstanding.  Sorry if my explanation of “fat is good for you” is a little brief, but I don’t have the time, energy, or smarts to restate the excellent work of someone like Gary Taubes.  Read the book and then come back with a new perspective…it’ll blow your mind.
  2. Adding Foods Back In: I started out with a very “clean” diet for about a week before slowing adding questionable foods back in one at a time.  I added only one food at a time for a day or two so I could gauge my reaction to it before adding another.  Yes, my list of Veggies and Fruits is slim.  You could add apples, for example, back in to your diet after a week or so, but I’d make sure to use iodine to test every single freaking apple you eat for starch before eating it.  Do the same for other fruits and nuts.  Cheese gives some folks a problem, and so I began my diet without cheese for about a week.  I added it back and without ill effect but eventually gut it from my diet altogether for other reasons.
  3. Snacks: This is the stumbling block for many people and it was for me.  I need to eat a ton of protein and fat in order to feel satisfied without carbs.  So I snack on avocado, sardines, and leftover meats and eggs from dinner or breakfast.  I’ve also been able to add macadamia and walnuts back into my diet without ill effect.  But you’ll have to test those one at a time for yourself.
  4. Testing Foods:  Sorry, you’ll just have to learn how to use iodine.  See my previous post about using iodine.
  5. Cooking:  You’ll be cooking your food.  If you don’t cook then you’ll need to learn.  Scramble some eggs in coconut oil or butter; brown some meat and stick it on top of a salad with tons of oil-based dressing and veggies.  Learn to cook.  Start simple.
  • Christine

    Hi, can you tell me if quinoa is a yes or a no? Thank you

    • Hi Christine,
      It’s a no for me and I suspect it’s a no for most on the NSD. Best way to verify is to go totally NSD and then once you have some measurable success (assuming you do, which is not a given) then add back one suspect/borderline food at a time to see if you have a reaction. Good luck!

  • stacy

    What would u estimate your macronutrient ratios/grams/percentage of carbs, fats, and protein u feel best on?

    • Hey Stacy,
      I don’t keep track of those ratios any longer. I used to do so and my results tended towards a very high fat diet. Basically, the type of ratios recommended on The Primal diet as outlined by Mark Sisson over at Healthy fats from grassfed beef, wilid fish, sardines, nuts, avocados, pastured eggs, etc.

  • stacy

    Is Butternut and spaghetti squash ok? What about a small serving of green frozen peas (it makes a good sauce if thinned out and blended with avocado)

  • Corey

    Do you know of anyone who has used this diet for Reactive Arthritis. I’m also curious about winter squashes – pumpkin seems to have a low starch level from the kickas website, but I had been told squash has higher starch levels. I’m also curious about root veggies – beets, parsnips, celeriac, etc. Thanks!

    • Hi Corey,
      There are a bunch of websites out there which deal with reactive arthritis- just Google “anti inflammatory diet” and you’ll see what I mean.

      Regarding your food questions: figure it out yourself;-) Don’t rely on what others have told you or what you may have heard about various squashes. Just buy some iodine and test it yourself. I’ve written extensively about how to add a new food to your diet so I won’t repeat myself here. One of the keys to success on this diet is tweaking it on your own as each of us is unique and we all have various tolerances and trigger foods.
      Good luck,