As a nutritionist and vegetarian of 15 years, people often ask me what I eat every day. The truth is, I eat really simply and mostly whole foods: fruit and vegetables of any kind, whole grains, plant-based fats like flax and chia seeds, probiotic-rich Greek yogurt and kefir, and other low-fat dairy products.
Costco is one of my favorite places to stock up on staples, and it’s also a great place to find new items that align with, say, fresh-made resolutions. (Even though you have to buy in bulk, their return policy is extraordinarily generous. And I’ve yet to purchase anything from there that has been disappointing.) This year, I’m prioritizing three things: eating more fiber, lowering my sodium intake, and buying more organic dairy items. Along with my usual go-tos, these are the 10 items I’m buying to start off the new year!
1. Kirkland Signature Organic Broccoli Florets, $7.99 for 4 pounds
This year, I’m trying to pack more fiber-rich veggies like broccoli into my daily meals, and this is one of the best buys you’ll find when it comes to organic frozen vegetables. You get four pounds, and what I love is that they comes in four individual one-pound bags, which helps you avoid freezer burn.
2. Hampton Hills Petite Asparagus Spears, $8.99 for 2.5 pounds
Asparagus is another fiber-rich veggie and is also a sneaky source of protein with four grams per 1/2 cup. It’s packed with folate (a B vitamin important for growth and brain health), antioxidants, and gut-friendly nutrients. I eat them as a side (cooked on my George Foreman grill), break them into little pieces and add them to slow cooker soups, or sauté them in a skillet with other veggies.
3. Nature’s Intent Cauliflower Rice, $8.99 for 6 (8.46 ounce) packs
Cauliflower is another fiber-rich vegetable I often forget about. I appreciate that this riced version, with four grams of fiber per serving, is a shelf-stable option that’s easy to prepare — without the mess. I use this stuff in soups or stews just like I would fresh cauliflower. It’s also microwave-friendly.
4. Wyman’s Wild Blueberries, $8.99 for 3 pounds
I love wild blueberries and they’re one of the highest-fiber fruits you can buy. They grow in a special part of Maine and are loved for their flavor and nutrition. I’m talking about six grams of fiber per cup! They’re also sweeter than regular (cultivated) blueberries, even though they have no added sugar or any more sugar per cup. The brands tend to vary at Costco (Wyman’s was in stock when I went shopping), but I’ll buy whatever’s on offer!
5. Kirkland Signature Organic Greek Yogurt, $5.89 for 48 ounces
Greek yogurt (and kefir) are two of my favorite gut-friendly foods to keep on hand when it comes to dairy products. I usually buy another brand of Greek yogurt at Costco that’s not organic, but I recently decided to try this one from Kirkland Signature because it was the same price and I liked that it was organic. It’s nonfat, protein-rich, full of probiotic cultures, and has no added sugar just like my regular brand.
6. Culinary Treasures Organic Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth, $7.99 for 8 (32-ounce) cartons
I always buy low-sodium broths, but many of them aren’t organic. Because I have a goal to eat less sodium from packaged foods and buy organic, this broth is a double whammy. It comes in resealable containers, has a great flavor, and is terrific to keep on hand for soups and stews. I even use this to sauté veggies (hi, asparagus!) in a pan instead of using oil and love it.
7. Quaker Old-Fashioned Whole Grain Oats, $8.99 for 2 (5-pound) bags
This was one of the first items I ever bought at Costco and I still buy it every other month, without fail. Quaker old-fashioned oats are my absolute favorite oats to eat when making oatmeal, which I do for a weekend breakfast or for an easy dinner. I love it with berries and ground flaxseed, cinnamon, ginger, and a little bit of organic nonfat milk. It contains four grams of fiber per serving, no sodium, and is a great source of protein, iron, B vitamins, and antioxidants. Did I mention you get 10 pounds for $9?
8. Premium Gold Organic Ground Golden Flaxseed, $8.99 for 4 pounds
I’ve been eating flax meal for more than 15 years now, usually on oatmeal or yogurt and in smoothies. It’s a great source of fiber with four grams per two tablespoons and is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, it has a great nutty flavor I just love!
Tip: Be sure to buy your flaxseeds ground, not whole, or grind them before you eat them so your body can absorb all their nutrients. I keep mine in the fridge or freezer and it lasts well over six months.
9. Cheerios, $5.89 for 2 (20-ounce) boxes
This cereal is a staple in my home and it’s the only cold cereal I eat besides plain bite-sized shredded wheat, which is my absolute favorite but Costco doesn’t sell it. Costco does, however, sell this massive pack of Cheerios. Cheerios are a great low-sodium and low-sugar cereal that’s also high in fiber, because it’s made of 100% whole-grain oats.
10. Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed Everything Crackers, $8.29 for 18 ounces
If you’ve never had Mary’s Gone Crackers, it’s time to change that! They’re made of 100% whole grains and seeds, so they keep your blood sugar stable longer than options made from flour, which breaks down quicker in the bloodstream. They’re also super tasty. Bonus: They’re also gluten-free and lower in sodium than most crackers you’ll buy.