By Whole30 team member Jen Kendall, who did some on-the-ground research for this article during her recent trip to beautiful Vancouver.
Whole30’ers to the north: WE HEAR YOUR CRY. Finding Whole30 Approved and compliant on-the-go, emergency, and pantry items in Canada is more difficult for you than it is for Whole30’ers in the U.S., where these types of products have become much more commonplace in the last few years. Which leaves you wondering, “What’s the deal, eh?”
You knew there was going to be one “eh?” joke in this post.
We reached out to a few of our Canadian Whole30 superstars and polled our community on social media to find out what is reasonably available to you, and where you can find it. Below, you’ll find the results of our research. But before we get to items and sources, please allow us to share one caveat with you.
Whole30 Convenience Foods: Nice to Have, But Not a Necessity
You don’t need a single Whole30 Approved item to successfully complete a Whole30. While these products may be time-savers and provide healthy alternatives to store bought goods, there isn’t a single Whole30 Approved product that can’t be either homemade or simply omitted for 30 days. In fact, nearly all homemade Whole30 staples are significantly less expensive and generally not too difficult to make at home.
Looking for proof? We actually did the math! Check out our article on Convenience vs. Homemade: Cost, Time, Taste.
Recipes and preparation methods for important staples such as ghee, bone broth, mayonnaise, and salad dressings can be found in The Whole30 book starting on page 176. As long as you are sticking to the program rules, you can successfully complete your program without a single convenience item and still be 100% compliant.
Still, convenience is, well… convenient, so let’s get to the goods.
Meat, Condiments, and Pantry Goods in Canada: Farmer’s Markets
Hit up local farmer’s markets and artisan food shops for hidden Whole30 gems like homemade sauces, condiments, and meats. Don’t be afraid to ask the employees or store owners for help locating compliant items, like no-sugar-added salad dressing or sugar-free bacon. You never know what tasty items you’ll find, and you’ll support local businesses.
Kirsten of @bucknakedpaleo scoured her local farmer’s markets and was able to source a few compliant products, like locally-made no-sugar-added ketchup and kombucha. Two other excellent examples are Lee’s Provisions Ghee in Ontario and Pure Bone Broth in British Columbia; two Canadian companies that make valuable Whole30-compliant staples.
For bacon and sausage, Vancouver resident and long-time Whole30’er Annabel of @epicureannie will go directly to Whole Foods, local butchers, or Choices Markets for compliant bacon and sausage. These are usually available on a first come, first serve basis, and they go fast, so make friends with your butcher!
Meat, Condiments, and Pantry Goods in Canada: Grocery Stores
Certain Canadian grocery stores offer a handful of Whole30-compliant products, especially near larger cities. We’ve listed some examples below as provided by Canadian Whole30’ers, but we cannot confirm consistency or accuracy in these store offerings across the country. Don’t hesitate to call a grocery store and ask their customer service representative or store manager about the availability of these items. And remember, ALWAYS check your labels! Even if the Costco Kirkland bacon is usually compliant, you still want to be absolutely sure you grab the right one.
Whole Foods: Whole30 Approved Red Boat Fish Sauce, SeaSnax (Vancouver), Whole30 Approved La Croix, GT’s Kombucha, coconut aminos, emergency bars (like LaraBars, NAKD bars, and nomz energy bites), bone broth (check the freezer section), and wildbrine kraut
Costco: Wholly Guacamole, coconut milk, Kirkland marinara, Kirkland bacon, and Kirkland prosciutto
Sobeys: Jamie Oliver brand sausages (some varieties), GT’s Kombucha, coconut aminos
Ordering Whole30 Goods Online: Barefoot Provisions
If you’re looking specifically for emergency protein options, Barefoot Provisions has combined a sampling of these products in their Whole30 Meaty Kit, including EPIC bars, Chomps Snack Sticks, Wild Zora Beef & Veggie Bars, and Brooklyn Biltong Jerky.
Ordering Whole30 Goods Online: Other Retailers
Vitacost ships to Canada for a $9.99 flat fee and also carries several compliant products, like Wild Zora bars, Vital Proteins products, Primal Kitchen, Kettle & Fire Bone Broth, compliant emergency bars (like RXBAR), and more.
Natura Market is an excellent resource for Canadians. Offering Whole30 Approved Primal Kitchen Mayo, Avocado Oil, and Greek Dressing, healthy fats like coconut oil and ghee, almond butter, emergency bars, and much more, Natura’s mission is to make these wholesome products affordable to everyone in Canada.
Jen Kendall is the Whole30 Operations Assistant and an avid lover of the outdoors. You can find her on Instagram, where she regularly posts photos of her adventures. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.