Archive for the ‘Paleo shopping’ Category

Paleo suppliers – Sydney and beyond

August 24, 2011

I often get asked where I get my Paleo supplies from. I’m Sydney based and have a few favourite haunts from which to get my bits and bobs. It would be great if I could regularly afford to shop somewhere like Thomas Dux, but that isn’t about to happen soon, so the places I go offer good bang for my buck, along with some intriguing people-watching as in the case of hippy hangout The Suveran in Bondi Junction – aka the crazy in the coconuts place.

I’ll be updating this list as I discover new gems but these are my preferred suppliers so far. Aside from this list, Asian supermarkets, quality butchers, seafood markets and growers markets are also great places to source Paleo goodies from too!

The Suveran
244 Oxford St Bondi Junction NSW
Phone: 02 9369 4040
Website: thesuv.org

I absolutely love this place. It’s so unique that going there feels like an adventure and I always wonder as I’m heading towards it “what tidbits of oddball information am I going to pick up today?”

They have two stores – one stocks organic produce and lots and lots of staple products such as coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, coconut flour, nuts, dried fruits – and the other is more of a cafe-style hangout with a stash of supplements and raw chocolate to die for (though watch out for the carob lurking in the fridge right next to the chocolate, doh!) This is also where I get to indulge in coconut water and flesh from A REAL LIVE COCONUT!

I usually order a delicious lunch of slow cooked lamb shank with veggies and salad. And I never forget to grab the free coconut that you get with purchases of $10 or more. Get the gang to cut it open with a machete, grab a straw and slurp your way to heaven. When you’re done with the juice, get them to crack it again, in half this time, to scoop out the flesh.  I always laugh when I read the items on the menu, their wacky sense of humour is in evidence with dishes such as “lamb crap” – that would be a crepe.

The Suveran

The Suveran - delicious hippy food served with a side of coconut

The Suveran is very Paleo friendly and works well for people on other types of diets as it’s all gluten, dairy and sugar free. Everything tastes phenomenal – except the carob that is 🙂 They have a wide selection of health books – you can read their copies for free and then buy a new copy if you wish to. They’re a non-profit so the prices are very reasonable indeed and I really like their ethics. I’m planning to go to their cooking class on September 3rd so I can pick up some tips to improve my cooking, and nab their treasured chocolate recipe.

Dr Earth Healthfoods
311 King St Newtown NSW 02 9519 3495 and
444 Oxford St, Bondi Junction NSW 02 9389 2160

I could easily drop $100 in here no problems. Though I don’t buy supplements in Australia anymore, I rely on this place for a few of my favourite food and beauty items – coconut flakes are only for $6 for 500grams, organic hair care products, cheap goats milk soap and natural scented soaps (only $5 for 3 cakes). I really like the staff in the Newtown store, led by the wonderful Adam – they navigate their way around the over-stocked store like acrobats and always have a smile. I’m relaxing my strict Paleo-adherance at the moment to include things such as fermented soy and buckwheat, so this is where I get miso paste, tamari and 100% buckwheat noodles and bread. I make a mean miso soup with the paste, noodles, seaweed and Dulse flakes.

Sign up as a member to get 21% off on selected days each month (this is on most products except perishables and practitioner products).

Wholesome Natural Health Market
181 Broadway BROADWAY NSW

02 9211 1171

Wholesome Natural Health Market

Wholesome Natural Health Market

This store is quite similar in range to Dr Earth and they also have the same discount structure and the same discount days – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right? A great range of fresh and packaged products and really knowledgeable staff make this store a real treasure.

Wholesome Natural Health Market

Wholesome Natural Health Market

iHerb
iherb.com

My addiction to US online store iHerb is so bad that I’ve got VIP status. Ouch! I don’t buy supplements in Australia anymore because the US has much better range and incredibly cheap prices. I’m sorry Australian retailers, but I need to save money somewhere and this is how I do it. I order all sorts of goodies from iHerb including rose hip oil – only $5 instead of the $20+ you pay in Australia – lots of supplements, coconut flakes and coconut butter – which is soooooo tasty, cacao powder, stevia drops, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant. You get the drift, it’s awesome. At the moment, orders are taking about 3 weeks to arrive after ordering, but the discounts make it worth it. My hot tip is to keep your order under $US80 and under 4 pounds in weight (the checkout calculates this for you) so you get airmail shipping for only$6. I usually make sure my order is as close to $80 as possible to get the best value I can from each order.

If you want to try out iHerb, feel free to use my discount code for $5 off first time orders: ISO110

Be really careful not to order anything that’s illegal to import in to Australia… I did this once and got a slap on the wrist from quarantine…oops! But I was trying to buy something that was $7 compared to $70 in Australia and didn’t realise at the time I couldn’t import it. Here’s the ICON database to check on the legalities of importing things in to Australia and iHerb also has a handly list that appears on the shopping cart page to advise what items are often confiscated by customs. Do be careful, especially if you try to buy some expensive supplements like I did….turns out customs don’t like mushrooms…who knew?

The big supermarkets

For those on a budget, the main supermarkets are an important place to stock up on fresh produce, meat, oils etc. Here’s what I tend to get from each place.

Coles: macadamia nut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, turkey mince, lamb mince, dukkah (spice mix), spices, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, coconut milk, coconut water – this is going to be a summer treat since it’s in a popper box you can freeze 🙂

Woolworths: Select tinned wild Alaskan salmon

Aldi: free range eggs, smoked sardines, bulk avocadoes, bulk zucchini, Italian proscuitto, macadamias

The Nut Roaster Company
79-81 Chapel St, ROSELANDS, NSW
02 9759 1206

Nut roasters are where I stock up on nuts and almond flour for those all important biscuits and muffins!  I also get my anchovies in bulk (in olive oil) and olives, though the last time they were way too salty, even for me.

Nuts

Obviously, I like nuts.

7 Star Supermarket
408 King Street, Newtown
Tel: 02 9565 5521
http://www.7starsupermarket.com.au/

I pick up Spring Hill free range bacon and their AMAZING aged beef mince from this store. This is the best beef mince you will ever taste, I’m not kidding.  They also stock all sorts of organic, gourmet products and really cool smoked fish.

Harris Farm Markets
Locations around Sydney

Great range of dried fruits, fresh fruit and vegetables and plenty of unique products such as duck meat and duck fat, free range pork and sustainable tinned fish. And I love to pick up Ginger Nectar which is an incredibly potent ginger juice with honey. I really like my ginger, what can I say?

Flemington Markets

Submitted by Gazza, this has become a real Sydney institution for fresh produce and flowers. According to Gazza:

(Sat morning – get there early!) is a source of freshly grated coconut (done at the markets) and fresh (frozen) coconut milk. You can get kim chee too (Korean fermented veges, good source of probiotics).

I need to get there stat, just to try the grated coconut!

Alfalfa House
http://www.alfalfahouse.org/

Don’t be put off by the vegan-sounding name – Paleo peeps can get a lot of their staples from Alfalfa House whilst purchasing goods in a considerate manner. Alfalfa House is an ethical, not-for-profit (just like The Suveran) co-operative that shuns packaging for most goods. Perusing their website, the items available that are most relevant to Paleo would be fresh produce, spices, eggs and wide range of oils.

Meat, poultry and game suppliers

I’ve collated this list from around the traps but so far haven’t bought anything from them as I’m currently restricted by a limited budget.

Urban Food Market: really keen to try out the diced goat and some of the free range pork

Otway Pork: I’m going to be trying a pork belly from this supplier soon. After my first attempt at pork belly was an absolute disaster that almost sent me vegetarian, I’ve done my homework to find a quality product

Craig Cook’s Prime Quality Meats:  Submitted by Gazza (thanks!) – he sources 100% grass fed platinum beef from this store  with outlets all over the city, except the deep south for some reason

Stapleton’s Quality Meats: Just had to add a butcher located in southern Sydney (Sutherland and Gymea) to make up for Craig Cook’s being everywhere except the south!  I haven’t shopped here yet, but they seem to have a wide range of meats including venison, which I last ate in a French restaurant about 10 years ago – it’s been too long! They also have an online shopping and a delivery service.

Spring Hill Beef (and bacon): As mentioned above, the mince is the best I have ever tasted, and I’m really happy with their bacon product too.

If you have any great Sydney-based or online suppliers, let me know so I can add it to this list!

My Paleo shopping list

August 23, 2011

One of the important logistical tasks when starting Paleo (especially if you have decided to jump right in rather than start slowly) is to compile a list of items to pick up from the supermarket/health food store/food market. I thought I’d supply mine for anyone interested to find out what I consider my staples that make life that much simpler!

Oils ain’t oils

Fat is controversial, no doubt about it. What is “controversial” about Paleo is that the demonised saturated fats such as coconut oil and bacon fat are approved, whereas vegetable and seed oils, such as sunflower and soy, are out.

My list of oils:

  • Avocado oil (this is a fruit remember) – works well as a salad dressing or to roast veggies
  • Olive oil (as above, this is a fruit) – I use this occasionally for cooking and on salads
  • Coconut oil and butter – I use the oil to cook my eggs each morning and to spread on buckwheat bread
  • Bacon fat – I cook free range rashers of bacon on a wire rack and then collect the fat on a tray to use on vegetables at dinner…mmm!
  • Macadamia – this is excellent as a salad dressing and also can be used in baking. Incredible flavour.
  • Almond oil – this is also good in baking

Fruit and Veg

Ok, so fruit is an iffy area as excess fructose is considered damaging to the metabolic system and a cause of inflammation and fatty liver disease. At the moment, I’m not eating much fruit at all because I’m trying to fix my hypoglycemia for good (blood sugar swings resulting in low blood sugar) and my gut health, but the types of fruit I generally think are good in terms of bang for your buck nutritionally speaking are:

  • Bananas – it’s a shame they’re still priced like gold bars but these are a veritable powerhouse fruit and great in baking
  • Red or ruby grapefruit – studies link grapefruit to weight loss and good skin. This is much more palatable than the traditional yellow grapefruit
  • Kiwi fruit – packed with awesome enzymes and Vit C, love these furry critters
  • Berries – low fructose and high in Vit C
  • Papaya or pawpaw – full of good enzymes
  • Lychee – I love these for their silky texture and unmistakeable taste. They work a treat in cocktails too!
  • Pink lady apple – these also have a beautiful, subtle flavour and apples are considered a great broom for the intestines
  • The very occasional medjool date. God these are incredible.

Vegetables can also be high in fructose unfortunately, such as carrots and beetroots, but if you have no metabolic issues, munch away!  Gillian McKeith, that hardcore tele-nutritionist from the UK, has been absolutely slated by some of the UK press (it’s happened to the best of us ;p) over her credentials, but I always remember her saying that everyone should make an effort to eat a rainbow and I can’t agree more. The colours of the vegetables represent different beneficial compounds of the vegetable (for example orange veggies have caretenoids) so it’s important to get a good mix as much as possible. Here are some ideas and if you want to see how creative you can be with veggies, check out my fave Paleo site Nom Nom Paleo…the woman is amazing!

  • White: Onion, garlic, parsnip, leek, taro, cauliflower, artichoke
  • Green: bok choy, baby spinach, English spinach (delicious sauteed with onion and cinnamon), broccoli, brussel spouts (great with bacon or tossed with avocado oil and roasted), zucchini (very versatile, for chips or “pasta”), other green leaf vegetables, sugar snap and snow peas, green beans, asparagus, cucumber
  • Red: capsicum (delicious roasted or fried in a pan), tomato (ok this is technically a fruit!)
  • Yellow: squash, yellow zucchini
  • Orange: sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots
  • Purple: cabbage, eggplant, spanish onion, beetroot, some sweet potato varieties

Baking supplies

People tend to panic when told they can’t eat grains, especially when they think of the baked goods they’re so enamoured of.  However, you CAN bake plenty of amazing, healthy treats within Paleo as long as you’re careful with your sweetener. Here is what I bake with:

  • Free range eggs
  • Oils – coconut, macadamia
  • Almond flour/meal (must be the type with the skin removed first)
  • Coconut flour
  • Coconut milk
  • Rice syrup (probably the best low GI option)
  • Maple syrup, occasionally and only a small amount
  • Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, ground ginger
  • Fine celtic sea salt
  • Berries
  • Dried fruits (though I’m not eating them much at the moment)
  • Nuts – my favourites are pecan, macadamia, hazelnut and walnut
  • Sesame and chia seeds – I use these when I make savoury biscuits or coconut bread
  • Bi-carb/Baking soda
  • Arrowroot (for thickening)
Baking supplies

Baking supplies

Herbs, spices and flavourings

Spices are definitely one of the important elements of a creative Paleo menu and really make dishes that much more zesty without a lot of effort. Along with this list, there’s also mixes such as harissa (which I want to try) and of course, Indian spice mixes.

  • Dukkah (amazing Middle Eastern nut/spice mix that’s fantastic with chicken as a baste)
  • Cinnamon and cloves
  • Five spice
  • Star anise
  • Mustard powder
  • Fine celtic sea salt
  • Chilli flakes
  • Tomato paste, tinned tomatoes
  • Whole black pepper
  • Sichuan peppercorns
  • Thai curry pastes (yes, you can track some down with no nasty additives)
  • Sesame seeds (great for rolling chicken pieces in before frying, so simple!)
  • Fish sauce (mixed with garlic and ginger for an amazing and easy steak marinade)
  • Fresh garlic (do not buy the Chinese stuff please, get the good purple variety)
  • Fresh ginger
  • Onion
  • Thai basil
  • Italian basil
  • Rosemary
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Chives
  • Curry leaves
  • Bay leaves
  • Fresh chilli
  • Lemons and limes

Seafood

Where possible, it’s a good idea to source wild caught, sustainably produced fish. Farmed fish is generally a big no-no, on account of the fish being fed a distinctly non-fish diet of grain. Ridiculous right –  ever seen a fish out in the wheat fields snacking on some bushels?

Here are the types of fish I tend to buy:

  • Tinned mackerel fillets
  • Tinned sardines in olive oil or brine (avoid the ones with flavours or vegetable oils)
  • Anchovies (I’ve started buying these in big glass jars when I get my deli goods – not many brands use olive oil though which is what you need)
  • Tinned Alaskan salmon (fresh salmon in Australia is farmed Atlantic salmon
  • Smoked salmon (though truthfully, I think this is farmed which sucks, I would love to live closer to stocks of wild salmon)
  • Blue grenadier or gemfish (beautiful sweet, white fish varieties)
  • Fresh Prawns
  • Tasmanian scallops
  • Tinned tuna (I only eat this once a fortnight or less due to the mercury content of large fish)

Other great seafood options are lobster, calamari, oysters, octopus, crab and sashimi grade fish. I really want to learn how to cook seafood properly, this is a definite area of weakness for me.

Glorious seafood

Glorious seafood

Meat and Poultry

Good animal protein is a must in my humble opinion. I find my energy levels are much better if I get two serves of animal protein in per day. Not to mention helping me to get those all important amino acids which are crucial for building things such as neurotransmitters. Here’s what I tend to eat:

  • Grass fed beef (it can be difficult to get meat that is both grass fed and finished, most is finished on grain)
  • Free range chicken – mince, breasts with bone in (great for baking), breasts without bone or skin, free range BBQ chicken, Portugese chicken (mmm!)
  • Goat – great for curries and a non-pasta ragu
  • Free range pork products (good cuts are middle bacon, pork belly, pork shoulder with bone in
  • Free range turkey – turkey mince for example makes for great burger patties
  • Lamb – lamb shanks are pretty damn good slow cooked. Of course there’s also sweet lamb chops, rack of lamb and lamb mince for burger patties
  • Bones, for making stock and to make some yummy drinking broth. Beef bones, chicken and pork bones are the ones most commonly used

Snacks

This is another area to concentrate on when getting prepared to switch to Paleo because it’s easy to come undone when there’s no longer a chocolate bar around!

  • Nuts – pecans, macadamias, walnuts, brazils, hazelnuts
  • Fruit – as above, though I tend to stick to low fructose options like berries
  • Coconut butter (this is different to the oil)
  • Coconut chips (warning, these can be addictive)
  • Coconut milk
  • A glass of coconut milk sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Zucchini and root vegetable chips
  • Almond, macadamia and hazelnut butter

Condiments and Miscellaneous

  • Baba ganoush
  • Olives – having a total love affair with olives at the moment. I particularly like to OD on Sicilian olives, I like their distinct apple green hue.
  • Olive tapenade – did I mention I like olives?
  • Almond, macadamia and hazelnut butter as above

Beverages

I’m hardcore, I like herbal tea. Here’s what I find myself sipping day to day:

  • Tulsi Rose tea
  • Yogi tea range – loving Aztec sweet chilli and Hazelnut vanilla
  • Campos coffee – mostly swiss water decaf but I also mix in some organic too. I’ve found that I get a really good quality brew using a simple stainless steel stovetop cafetiere (please please please never use aluminium ones if you want to keep your marbles!) Coffee is most likely not Paleo at all, I’m a deviant at times, what can I say ;p
  • Fresh coconut water. I’m lucky enough to get this occasionally from The Suveran in Bondi Junction. Get a free coconut when you spend more than a tenner. Yum! Though you do get funny looks if you take it away and walk down the street sucking on a big coconut. I have now seen coconut water with no crap added in the aisles of Coles. I froze one and snacked on it just like in the olden days with fruit poppers. Ah, those weren’t the days.
  • Mineral water with fresh lime. No idea why, but I love limes. A lot.
  • Liquor – yes, Paleo is not all boring. Of course, alcohol is strictly not Paleo at all, but like I’ve mentioned before, it’s not much fun to stick to a dogma all the time. My drink of choice is Bombay gin with soda water and fresh lime (maybe a couple of drops of stevia if I’m feeling wild). I know others who make cocktails out of coconut milk and vodka, which I’ll get around to one of these days.
Tasty tasty bevvies

Tasty tasty bevvies

Paleo-friendly groceries

February 14, 2011

Day 1 of Paleo and Mum reminded me it would be good to stock up on a few supplies while we were out in a suburban shopping mall ….the kind that is packed with older ladies adhering to the “Mutton dressed as lamb” look…well it was “The Shire” after all.

So I picked up a few goodies:

  • Paw Paw: probably one of the best fruits you can eat on account of the enzymes it’s packed with, similar to Papaya. I get a kick from the slight bitterness of paw paw. I am also a lime fanatic….I wonder if that alludes to my personality? Tart, but also sweet. I used some in Paleo muffins and also ate some sliced up as a snack.
  • tin of mackerel: one of my favourite types of fish – a good, oily type of fish. I plan to use this to make some sort of thai-style fish cake
  • potato crisps – these are actually not that Paleo-friendly as potato is meant to be very limited, however I know I am going to find it hard-going to come up with snacks at times. I used to react terribly to potatoes (on account of solanin plus another chemical in nightshade veggies) but had a wacky acupressure-type treatment which has reduced my reaction to it.
  • Portobello mushrooms – I much prefer these to button mushrooms which are rather bland really.
  • Preshafruit Pink Lady apple juice – this is the juice that’s in real nifty packaging in the shape of a trapezoid. Delicious to boot and processed differently the most juices, keeping most of the nutrients intact.
Paleo_friendly_shop

Paleo shopping bits and pieces