buying paleo in coles woolworths

Paleo food shopping in Coles

Don’t judge me – sometimes I buy my paleo food from Coles, my local grocery store. I live near a great greengrocer, butcher and an Aldi – and have a twice monthly farmers market a few suburbs away – but sometimes time and budget make paleo shopping in Coles the best option.

buying paleo in coles woolworths

So can you buy paleo in Coles?

A few years ago Coles lacked so many paleo staples – but now I see more and more paleo friendly lines appearing by the week. The fat-is-good-for-you and it-matters-where-your-meat-comes-from messages seem to finally be going mainstream.

This week I saw a whole new line in grass-fed beef at my local coles – so thought it’s a good time to assess the store for their paleoness.

I’m not going to go into fresh produce too much, but they do have a range of organic fruit and veggies.


This is the new range of grass-fed meat I found, Graze. It’s also hormone free and comes from 180 NSW and Victoria cattle farms. So far they have porterhouse, scotch fillet, rib-eye, eye fillet, rump, schnitzel, lean mince, roasts, stir fry, casserole and ribs. So if you buy from Coles – support this range – we want more of it!

Graze Grass-fed beef meat Paleo Coles Supermarket shopping list primal

In terms of chicken, Coles offer the Inglewood Farms brand of organic chicken. I always get a whole chicken ($11.90 a kilo) instead of chicken breasts ($31.40 a kilo) – you literally get the rest of the bird free that way – and who doesn’t love a roast chicken?

How about kangaroo? One of the great things about kangaroo is that they aren’t farmed – so you know you’re getting naturally reared meat. Buy the plain steaks though, and avoid the pre-marinated or processed kangaroo products.



Eggs are easy as most people seem to be on-board with free-range eggs now. Unfortunately Coles don’t offer Omega-3 enriched eggs (get these from Woolworths). And my other gripe is that eggs aren’t stamped in Australia.


Coconut oil used to be a foreign concept to the big supermarkets. Now Coles offer two Melrose Organic jars ($8.75 or $11.72 for 300ml – good for an emergency) and also the Prochef coconut oil spray I wrote about before.


Coles also sell a jar of Naturals by Melrose Almond Butter Spread ($8.03 for 250g) or Cashew Spread Butter ($8.42).

Luckily olive oil has always been abundant. There are loads of brands. Which is your favourite?

If you’re looking for more animal fats, you can also get a rendered duck fat from Coles.

Rendered duck fat animal Paleo Coles Supermarket shopping list primal

Canned paleo

A few brands of coconut milk are available including TCC, Trident and Ayam. I always buy Ayam as it has the best ingredients. Also, never buy the light versions (you can always add water yourself).

The other tinned ingredient I buy is tomatoes (here’s why). There are loads available, but I find a brand like Mutti has the best ingredients.

Canned tinner diced chopped whole tomatoes Paleo Coles Supermarket shopping list primal

Paleo baking

You’ll find several brands of almond meal/ almond flour including Freshlife and the Lucky brand, but with prices upwards of $22 a kilo, they aren’t cheap. Bob’s Red Mill organic coconut flour is available as about $26 a kilo too.


Other things in Coles

You can also find Melrose Apple Cider Vinegar (see what you can do with it here) and several types of Pink Himalayan Salt

If you’re looking for a bread alternative, you’ll be please to find nori seaweed wraps.

Nori sushi rolls wraps sheet Paleo Coles Supermarket shopping list primal

So over to you – what paleo friendly items have you found in Coles that we should know about? Which of the big supermarkets do you think is the most paleo friendly?

Eating paleo on $50 a week budget-min

How far can $50 a week go – cheap veggies

I told you about my $50 weekly food budget and I thought I’d share with you how I’ve been achieving it. As I mentioned, I shop around between my local independent green grocers, Aldi and Coles supermarket. Whilst I find some good specials in Coles and Aldi, I almost always find the green grocers to be the best bet for cheap veggies.

My other reason for liking the greengrocer as well as it being cheap, is that almost everything is from local farms – and it’s pretty much all seasonal, rather than expensive imported produce.

I eat a lot of veg and use it to bulk out all of my meals. I pick veggies roughly based on their nutrient density – I’m going to buy kale and spinach over iceberg lettuce.

So, here’s what I selected the other day at my greengrocers….

Spinach (silverbeet) $0.99
Kale $2.00
Butternut Squash $3.00
Brussels Sprouts $2.49
Broccoli $1.97
Onions $1.49
Cauliflower $2.49

Total Veg Spend $14.34

I compared the cost to what I would have paid in my local Coles supermarket (see below)


Buying the exact same produce would have cost over double in the supermarket – $31.07, leaving less than $20 for meat for the week!

What did I do with the produce?

I made a huge batch of butternut squash and carrot soup (I had a few carrots left over from my previous shot)

I used the cauliflower to make an experimental new pizza base

I made a greens & beef stir fry with the silverbeet, kale, sprouts and broccoli

It’s cheap – but is it organic?

Unfortunately it’s not all organic. Of course I’d love to eat everything organic, but on a tight budget it’s just not feasible. However – one good trick I’ve found, is that not may people seem to buy organic where I live. This means the organic produce is quite often reduced to less than the conventional produce, as it approaches it’s use by date. So keep a look out.

I’d love to hear your tips for eating well on a budget – how do you do it? Share in the comments below!

Is your butcher keeping a secret from you

Is your butcher keeping a secret from you?

If your local butcher is anything like mine, they might have a big secret…

Is your butcher keeping a secret from you

Since I moved out of Sydney last year, I’ve struggled to find a good butcher. I used to have an amazing organic butcher just a short walk from my house. My butcher would make me up paleo sausages to my exact requirements (pork and apple were my favourites), order fresh turkey for me (something I find surprisingly difficult to find in Australia) and always had super cheap grass-fed bones I could use for making bone broths.

I’ve not seen words like “grass-fed”, “pasture-raised” or even “gluten-free” at all in my new local shops. It’s not really practical to buy meat in the city and travel back home with it – and I don’t yet have a big enough freezer to buy half a cow from a local farmer. So what’s girl to do?

I’m ashamed to say I’ve been walking past my local butcher for quite a few months without stopping. I glanced at the display and made a lot of assumptions.

Well yesterday, I stopped.

I’ve taken to roasting a piece of pork rind in the oven and filling the tray with veggies to roast in the delicious fat (try it!). Pork rind is really cheap (in keeping with my $50 budget challenge) and using good quality pork it’s a great fat source. Anyway, I couldn’t find any pork rind, so stopped to have a chat with the butcher.

I asked her if they ever get in any grass-fed meat, or can order some – she told me that all of their meat is grass-fed! She pointed to an old black and white photo behind the counter, and explained that her grandfather was in the photo – and that they’ve been buying all their meat from the same local farm for the last three generations. It’s all naturally raised. Could she make me some gluten-free sausages? All of her sausages are gluten-free – she just never uses words like gluten-free or grass-fed because she’s found those words put people off!

What a revelation!

I bought two giant pieces of pork rind for just $3 and am so pleased to finally have a local butcher again.

So if you’ve not found anywhere locally, my advice is this – speak to your butcher. Chances are they too don’t realise how much of a good marketing feature their naturally raised, organic, grass-fed meat is!

Would love to know if you’ve had a similar experience with your butcher too?

My $50 paleo budget challenge

My $50 weekly paleo budget challenge

When I returned from my trip overseas, I went to my local Coles grocery store to get a few essentials to keep me going. I came out with one bag and $52 worse off. All I bought was a few veggies and some meat.

Now I’m working for myself (more on this soon) something has to change! It’s important to me to continue eating well, but I’ve got to cut my food costs. I’ve therefore spent the last few weeks doing a $50 weekly food challenge. Where I live in Australia, this is quite a challenge. Food is expensive here. Before I started this challenge I’m ashamed to say I had no idea how much different vegetables and cuts of meat cost.

My $50 paleo budget challenge

It’s not been easy, but I’ve managed to stick $50 a week – and I’ve kept it paleo. Here’s what I’ve been doing:

Shopping around

I’m lucky to live near an independent greengrocers, a butcher, an Aldi and a Coles supermarket. When I worked in the corporate world I would do almost all of my shopping in Coles because it was quick and easy. Now I incorporate all three in my daily morning walk, so I can check out the prices and see what’s in season and on special offer. As I walk, I don’t buy much each time I go and I make sure I’m always getting the best price. It’s amazed me how much prices differ for the exact same vegetables – perhaps even from the same farm! For example I can get a whole cauliflower for $2 from the greengrocer. Or spend $3.98 on a cauliflower at Coles.

Look for specials

I’ve noticed every few days there are different specials in my local Coles. This week for example, Broccoli is on sale for $1.oo a kilo (2.2 pounds). It would normally be about $3 a kilo – so this is incredibly cheap. I therefore have a fridge full of broccoli at the moment – and am on the look out for broccoli recipes to use it all in! I always keep my meal plans flexible enough to take advantage of good deals like this.


Buy reduced to clear

I’ve also noticed everywhere I shop has reduced produce every day. I’ve got some great deals on packets of vegetables on their “use by” date and significant reductions on meat too.  I cook fresh everyday, so it makes no difference whatsoever if it’s close to the use by date.

Buy different cuts of meat

I used to buy (what I now realise are) premium cuts of meat and poultry. I’d spend $10 buying two chicken breasts – I now buy a whole chicken for about the same. Not only do I get two chicken breasts, but I get the rest of the bird – and a couple of extra meals out of it for free. It’s so easy to roast a chicken.

Buy nutrient dense

With $50 to spend I don’t bother buying things like lettuce, which I don’t consider very nutrient dense or filling. Instead I’d rather buy veggies like kale and spinach that give far more nutrients per cent.

Buy seasonal

I used to buy avocados all the time. I didn’t really look at the price. They’re $2.98 EACH! I don’t buy avocados at the moment. As soon as they are in season and the prices become more sensible, I’ll add them back into my diet.


Try a different way

I’ve also started doing a few things differently. Instead of buying expensive dark chocolate, I buy a few grapes when they’re on special and freeze them (if you’ve not tried frozen grapes – do this!). Instead of using coconut oil to roast veggies in or cook a stir fry with, I use the fat I get from the meat I cook.

Don’t compromise

I’d save so much money if I bought barn eggs and cheap ground mince meat. But there are some things I won’t compromise on – I won’t buy ground meat or non free-range chicken or eggs. I’d love to buy all of my vegetables organic, but I just couldn’t do that for under $50 a week unfortunately.

Stretch everything

Everything I buy, I try to stretch as far as I can. The chicken I roast will do several meals, then the bones will make a stock. I add yesterdays stir fry leftovers to some eggs to make a frittata for breakfast. I make my extra veggies into a soup and freeze it in batches for later.

I’d love to hear any tips you have for getting more out of my $50 weekly food budget. How much do you spend on food each week? I’d love to hear your views in the comments below.

Paleo diet aldi shopping list-min

My Aldi paleo shopping list

I have a confession… I don’t grow all of my own food or shop exclusively from farmers markets, organic butchers and fishmongers. With a long commute and long hours, I often just don’t have the time to source my food in the way I’d like. Believe it or not, I’ve found Aldi can be a fairly good place to buy Paleo friendly food. Whilst it’s clearly not the same as knowing the farm(er) your food came from, I think it can be a good compromise. It also tends to be far cheaper than my other local supermarket options (i.e. Coles and Woolworths).

I thought I’d share with you my Aldi paleo picks…

Meat & Poultry

Aldi sell “Highland Park” beef – it’s grass-fed! We like grass-fed! As you know, I don’t buy mince/ ground beef, but I have tried the Highland Park Steaks ($17.99 – $25.99/kg depending on the cut)

They also stock Willowton free range chicken  (thighs, breast and drumsticks)


Butter is another good buy (but is it paleo?) as Aldi have an organic butter for under $3 a pack

Aldi organic salted butter paleo


Nuts are another staple that I use just for a snack, in a no-oatmeal or occasionally for a bit of paleo baking. I’ve seen the Forresters brand of natural almonds and also raw walnuts in my local Aldi.


I’ve not actually tried Aldi’s eggs yet, but they do sell free range eggs.


Whilst I’ve never seen coconut oil in Aldi, they do have an Australian olive oil that seems quite good for just under $5.

Aldi Australian organic olive oil paleo


My final paleo in a pinch purchase at Aldi is frozen berries (Sweet Haven brand), which are handy to keep in the freezer for smoothies or even a quick ice cream.

Have you tried any paleo friendly foods from Aldi? What did you think?

Paleo diet aldi shopping list-min

iherb paleo supplies discount coupon

Where Do You Get Your Paleo Supplies From?

Whilst the main elements of a Paleo diet are fresh, local and seasonal – such as meat and vegetables, there are a few important ingredients and supplies that aren’t so easy to find. I used to get these items from health food shops, but I found they could be really expensive, there wasn’t much choice – and they were heavy to carry home!

I now do the non-fresh part of my Paleo shopping almost all online. My favourite supplier is iherb, as I’ve found them to be the cheapest, they have a large range – and they deliver Worldwide (even to Australia!) quickly and cheaply.

Iherb have just reduced their delivery charge to Australia – it’s now only $10 on orders over $60. They also offer $10 off your first order over $40 – or $5 discount on smaller orders. Definitely the cheapest way to stock up on Coconut Oil and fill your Paleo pantry!

These are the items on my non-fresh Paleo shopping list

Coconut Oil

No Paleo kitchen is complete without Coconut Oil! I go straight for the largest containers as it doesn’t last long. I really like this huge container of Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. I also have a smaller jar of Artisana Organic Extra Virgin Raw Coconut Oil in my pantry.

Coconut Aminos

I love Coconut Aminos and use it regularly, exactly as you might use Soy Sauce, for instance in sauces and to marinade meat.

Coconut Butter/ Manna

I first read about these products on US websites; but couldn’t find them in Australian stores.

Paleo Baking

I’ve just got a new Paleo recipe book “Paleo Indulgences”, with lots of recipes for occasional treats and special occasions. Quite a few of the ingredients I didn’t have, so I have just ordered from iherb.

Coconut Crystals

I’ve just ordered these Coconut Crystals as a few of the recipes call for them.

Coconut Nectar

Similarly a few recipes call for Coconut Nectar, so I’m eagerly awaiting delivery of these too

Arrowroot Starch

Coconut Flour

Almond Flour

Shredded Coconut

Coconut Flakes

Flax Meal

Hazelnut Flour

Sunflower Seed Butter

Almond Butter



I tend alternate between Celtic sea salt and pink Himalayan sea salt.

Herbs and Spices

I also have to stock up on the herbs and spices that I use regularly in my cooking. I generally use a lot of turmericParsleyGingerNutmeggarlic powdercurry powderoreganocuminbasil and cinnamon

Kelp Noodles

A recent addition to my cooking is kelp noodles as a great pasta alternative.


Depending on time of the year and nutrition, there are a few supplements I sometimes take.

Vitamin D

Many of the Vitamin D3 capsules sold are in very small doses – instead of taking several, I prefer to take one capsule at a higher IU

Omega 3


After reading on so many American Paleo sites about Larabars, I’ve also tried some from iherb, for an occasional treat!


Other than food, I also order paraben-free shampoo online as many of the brands I find in shops locally have lots of undesirable ingredients.

Which non-fresh Paleo supplies do you regularly buy? Where do you source your Paleo supplies from? Are there any items you have trouble finding locally?


Coconut Oil Spray – What’s The Point?

Initially I was really impressed when I saw Coconut Oil Spray for the first time in Coles, my local grocery store.

But on reflection, Coconut Oil spray seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, don’t you think?

Why Spray Cans?

Spray cans of cooking oil became popular to enable the low-fat brigade to cook in as little oil as possible. The spray tin enables you to coat the bottom of the pan, using far less oil than you’d use if you poured it in. But we’ve moved on from low-fat, haven’t we? Chances are, given that you’re reading this blog, you’re careful to incorporate decent amounts of fat in your diet. Coconut oil is probably the most popular cooking oil amongst those who follow a Paleo diet. Most of my Paleo friends will use generous amounts of coconut oil in their cooking – and then pour the oil from the pan onto their plate when they’ve finished. You can’t so this with a spray can of coconut oil!

Added Ingredients?

The ingredients also include butane and propane which are obviously required to enable to spray mechanism to work – but I wonder if this has any impact on the oil – and whether there is any residue in the oil when it makes it onto your plate? Another reason I’d prefer to spoon my pure coconut oil straight into the pan, and not take the chance that any of the propellants come into contact with my food. The cans are also highly flammable, another plus for the humble jar of coconut oil!


Who Buys It?

I find it odd that this particular store only stocks the spray and not the oil in normal jar form (my other local supermarket, Woolworths, stocks jars of coconut oil, but not the spray, which is far more useful). Given the choice, I’m sure almost everyone would opt for a jar of coconut oil, rather than the spray?

I can’t really see who the coconut oil spray is aimed at. Compared to the nasty seed oil sprays, it’s far higher in fat (this is a good thing); surely the conventional wisdom junkies would steer clear? And of course those of us in the know about coconut oil would find the small delivery of coconut oil frustrating? So who is it for? Answers in the comments, if you can offer some suggestions…

I can see that the can is convenient – but a jar of coconut oil and a spoon is hardly inconvenient?

Would you use Coconut Oil in spray form? I’d also be interested to read your comments (below) as to whether coconut spray is widely available where you live too?

Woolworths Coconut Oil-min

Woolworths Coconut Oil

Good news if you’re in Australia, Coconut Oil has just got a bit easier to find. Woolworths now stock a small jar of Spiral Coconut Oil in the Asian Foods section.

I’ve also seen it in Harris Farm and some IGA stores. Hopefully Coles will get in on the act and start stocking Coconut Oil soon too.

Online suppliers definitely seem to be the cheapest way to buy Coconut Oil in Australia and New Zealand, but for all those times when being organised doesn’t come together, it’s great to be able to buy it in a national chain.


Paleo Connect social networking paleo network primal diet


Introducing… PaleoConnect

We have a great local Paleo meet-up group here in Sydney, but I know there are many, many areas in Australia and around the world without such groups.

The meet-up groups are a great way to meet a lot of other people together who are interested in a similar Paleo lifestyle.  I love the meet-ups and am so glad I found out about them – I get to talk about Paleo all night and learn so much from the other attendees.

I’ve long felt there was a gap between the thriving online Paleo communities and the few Paleo meet-up groups that are currently in existence.  As great as online communities are, I think there is often no substitute for meeting people in real life.  I’ve spent the last few months working hard on PaleoConnect, which is a site that I hope will close this gap and enable you to find and meet with people who have the same Paleo/ Primal interests as you do – and happen to live in your neighbourhood!

Perhaps you want to meet up with someone to do some Primal exercise at lunchtimes?  Maybe you don’t know of any other Paleo families, but would love to meet some.  Travelling for business and interested in going out for a Paleo meal with a local?  Or you might be trying to lose weight and like the support of someone doing the same – through Paleo rather than the latest fad diet.  I’m keen to use the site to try out local restaurants that have Paleo options – whilst meeting new friends!  Of course, if you’re a member of the single Paleo community, you may be keen to go on a date with someone like minded, instead of the unhealthy potentials who plague online dating sites!  I hope PaleoConnect will address all of these needs and more.

This is very much an international site, with members from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe and Asia – and many new people joining every day.  The site is, and will remain completely free to sign up to and use.

So what are you waiting for?  Have a look at PaleoConnect, sign up and spread the word!

I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback!

How to start paleo guide for beginners diet healthy eating plan-min

How to do Paleo – a Beginners Guide

After listening to me talk about Paleo and seeing the positive changes, a few of my friends have been interested enough to actually try Paleo for 30 days, a whole30 approach, to see how it works for them.

I got a text message from one of my friends last week, which read:

“Hey, I want to try Paleo starting today for a month, that’s the whole30 right?  Where do you shop for your stuff?  What should I eat?”

How to start paleo guide for beginners diet healthy eating plan-min

I started to reply, but it quickly became far too long for an SMS, so I sent the email below instead.

OK, it was too long to text!

I would start by working out what you’re going to eat for the next week.  Where you’ll be each day; how many meals you’ll have at home and how many meals you’ll eat out.  Write it down!

For the meals at home, go through the cookbook I gave you and pick out a few meals.  Also look on Chowstalker and filter on “Whole30” to find some great Paleo recipes.

Do a big shop for all of the ingredients for the recipes you picked out – the first shop may be quite expensive if you don’t have many herbs and spices (which make such a difference to the recipes) – it’s a good investment though as they’ll last a long time.

The basics you need are: –

Meat.  Where you can, get organic, at the very least free range (i.e. chicken) – and if possible grass fed meat.  I have a great organic butcher near me, but Woolies and Coles have a few organic ranges

Eggs.  I eat a lot of eggs.  Pastured & organic are best, Omega 3 enriched are great – at the very least make sure they are free range.  They usually last for a while and are great for quick food – so buy lots!

Vegetables.  If you can, get organic.  Try to get what’s in season, rather than imported vegetables.  In the first week or two I’d recommend sweet potatoes and squash.  It’s possible you’ll find it really hard cutting out refined carbs, so that is what the sweet potatoes and squash will help with.  Other than that, get a good variety of vegetables.  Most recipes call for the basics like onions, carrots, garlic,  green leafy vegetables etc.  Ignore starchy tubers like potatoes (besides, you can substitute sweet potatoes any time you’d usually have regular potatoes).  I also tend to use a lot of zucchini, capsicum and mushrooms.

Fruit.  I don’t have much fruit, as essentially it is sugar, but it might be quite good for you whilst you’re transitioning to this new way of eating.  Berries are great and other good choices include kiwi, pineapple & melon.  Eat fruit whole; don’t make juices with it (this removed the fibre from the fruit which increases the insulin response – also it encourages you to consume a lot more than you’d eat whole)

Fats.  You’ll need to not be scared of fats!  Only cook in coconut oil (coconut oil is only found in health food shops, choose unrefined virgin coconut oil) and animal fats.  Olive oil (and other nut oils such as avocado oil) are good for salad dressings, but shouldn’t be heated.  Remember – no dairy (i.e. butter) for the 30-days.  Coconut milk is another great fat source.  Get this from the Asian section in any supermarket.  I’d only recommend Ayam as it has the purest ingredients of any brand I’ve seen.  Make sure you get the normal version NOT the light version.  Use this as a basis for meals (i.e. a curry) or even with berries to make a berry smoothie.  Avocados are another great fat source to go with a meal.

Nuts.  Occasional nuts are great, but don’t go overboard (which is hard!).  Macadamias & Almonds are good.  Almond butter is also good (used sparingly) and can be found in the macro range at Woolworths.

Drinks.  With no dairy, think now about what you’ll be drinking.  Most drinks should be water, but you can add a slice of lemon/ lime and the water can be hot or cold.  You can use carbonated water.  I get lots of different types of tea (but check the ingredients carefully; you should recognise all of the ingredients – nothing artificial).  Redbush, gunpowder, chai and green tea are some that I enjoy.  You can also have tea with coconut milk.

If you’re going out and options are likely to be un-paleo my top tip is not to go out hungry.  If you eat before you go out you probably won’t need to eat – and if you do it will be easier to look for better options without the distraction of immense hunger.  Most places offer meat and fish – I ask for it as plain as possible and check how it’s cooked.  Avoid anything that is marinated or fried.  Ask for no sauces or dressings on your meal.  I usually substitute things like fries and mash for more veg or salad.

Breakfast is something people often find hardest.  It’s easiest to get over the fact breakfast “has” to be a certain type of meal and realise breakfast is just fuel, like any other meal.  Have good food; be it last night’s leftovers or cook something up.  I find eggs a great breakfast option and often have omelette or scrambled egg with avocado and bacon.   Noatmeal is another good option for an occasional breakfast, but not every day.  I think it’s really important to try to consume breakfast as soon as possible after waking up, within 30 minutes if possible.

You can get the basics from Woolworths or Coles.  The “Macro” range at Woolworths, or the “Natural Health” range at Coles have a lot of good Paleo ingredients.  Butchers (especially organic) will be a better source of meat.  Farmers markets (if you have any locally) are a great source for most things.  Health food shops are the only places I’ve found for coconut oil and Himalayan or Celtic sea salt.

Take a photo of yourself before you start and let me know if you can’t find anything or want ideas!

Top tip – be organised and plan before you start.



So how did I do?  I’m sure there are lots of things I should have mentioned that I forgot…  I think it’s going to be helpful to have a list to give to anyone who asks me this in the future.  What advice and tips do you give to people who turn to you for advice on starting Paleo?