My Trader Joe’s Shopping List: Clean, Whole30, and Paleo Compliant

For those who have committed to making their nutrition and health a priority in 2015, it can be overwhelming to know where to start, and even more intimidating when you find yourself in the grocery store with limit finances and infinite eye candy. And some real candy. But that’s not for you.  Because you care now. How noble of you.

Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to shop because they have a large assortment of clean options and a trip there doesn’t cost the same as my NYC rent. Below I’ll show you 18 of my favorite TJ’s items that are Whole30 and Paleo compliant, and that are just all around great for those making the shift to a cleaner lifestyle.  Read your labels and get familiar.  Or don’t I guess, because I already did it for you.  If it’s on the label and you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.  I rarely eat anything that has more than one ingredient- even better if it has no label at all (hint hint: fruits and veggies).

Check out the video below, and then copy paste the list (below the video) and bring it along for your next grocery haul!

In addition to tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, some great products I love from TJ’s are…

  1. Organic Tri-Color Carrots
  2. Organic Carrot Broccoli Slaw
  3. Organic Unsweetened Applesauce
  4. Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk
  5. Clarified Butter (Ghee)
  6. Organic Coconut Oil
  7. Spices
  8. Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Pepper Hot Sauce
  9. Chia Seeds
  10. Skipjack Tuna (Pole and Line Caught)
  11. Raw Nuts
  12. Organic Coconut Flour
  13. Freeze-Dried Banana Slices
  14. Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage (*This is the only flavor that doesn’t have added sugar- always read labels)
  15. Organic Grass-Fed Ground Beef
  16. Teas
  17. Organic Free-Range Chicken (Antibiotic Free)
  18. Organic Dried Mangoes

Did I miss any of your favorite clean TJ’s products? Let me know in the comments!

Clean up your act,


My Clean Holiday Gift Guide

It’s the holidays ya’ll! This year has been one of massive change, introspection, and growth for me, and I attribute it to many healthy lifestyle changes and A LOT of self-love.  Below, in poem form (naturally) is a holiday gift guide filled with things that can make your 2015 even fuller- body, mind, and soul.  All links are listed below and where applicable, specific contacts that I have that can hook you up with some sweet deals.  Any questions?  Don’t hesitate to reach out and I can tell you all about how these things have helped me in my personal journey.  And if you want to send me anything, that’s cool too. Really cool.


1. Elise Joan Fitness
Monthly subscriptions for mix and match workout playlists to do in your home- yoga and ballet focused

2. New Year, New You Yoga and Goal-Crushing Retreat with Elise Joan and Danika Brysha
Yoga and Goal-Setting retreat in San Luis Obispo, CA from December 30th, 2014 to January 2nd, 2015

3. 21-Day Guided Meditations
Oprah and Deepak Chopra guide you through a 21-day mediation challenge. Just 20 minutes daily, this is perfect for beginners or anybody with an interest in mediation.

4. Kore Kitchen Superfoods Set
The Kore Kit™ is an introduction to 8 popular superfoods, the most nutrient dense foods on the planet! The kit comes with a guide that will explain each item and its benefits, as well as gorgeous superfood-based recipes you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle. It’s a great way to give your health regime a little boost, or gift to someone who might benefit from it.

5. Organic Tea Basket
Assorted organic teas. Duh.

6. Saian Natural Skin Products
Natural hypo-allergenic anti-aging and acne products

7. DoTerra Essential Oils
Therapeutic Essential Oils
*Loyalty Rewards Program available

8. It Starts with Food
The essential book by the creators of the Whole30 that should be read by everyone on the planet. A total eye-opener when it comes to learning about how we fuel our body.

9. Flavor God Spices
Chemical, sugar, and Filler-free spices with low-salt levels and massive flavor.

10. Magic Bullet or Cuisinart
Food processors for both the on-the-go small-space chef, and the culinary connoisseur looking to get a bit more fancy in the kitchen.

11. Vanesa Rey’s Humorous Office Products
A gift set of Made in America paper goods comprised of a weekly planner, notecards, pencils, and a delivery rubber stamp all with cheeky sayings. Because handwritten can be humorous!

12. Soul-Coaching Sessions with Danika Brysha
Beginning in 2015, I will be launching my soul coaching business to help you uncover what is holding you back, how to find what it is your passionate about, create a more fulfilling life, and so much more.

5 Ways I Practice Self-Care Every Day

How to Survive Thanksgiving as a Clean Eater

How to Come Out About Food Addiction

There’s More to Clean Dating than Condoms

My 6000-Calorie Binge and My “A-Ha” Moment

How to Navigate Cocktail Hour When You’re On a Libation Vacation

What The Hell Does Clean Eating Mean?

Feeling Everything: Compulsive Overeating and Being Present Through Discomfort

I’m feeling everything lately.  And after over a decade of feeling nothing at all, it is a challenge to say the least.  All the ups and downs of being a human being. I’m trying to remind myself that this is normal.

I’ve been doing a lot of personal work over the last several months.  I decided in late December last year that 2014 would be the year that I look at what’s holding me back… and then change it.  I stopped drinking, cut out any drugs- prescription and illegal (even advil), and I cleaned up my diet. I started taking into account how I was spending my time (and who with) and tuned in to what was truly making me happy, rather than what society was telling me would make me happy.  I started meditating and doing a ton of journaling.  But at the core of me I always knew that what was truly holding me back was my relationship with food.

I’ve come to understand that for me, food is comfort.  It is the way I relax and the way I numb myself to anything I don’t want to feel.  Anything that’s unfamiliar or uncomfortable.  And so even though I hadn’t touched grains, dairy, refined sugar, alcohol, or any additive/hormone/chemical in several months, I still found myself using food as a drug. After 15 years of dieting and restricting- putting all my energy into finding a plan of eating that “worked” and that would allow me to lose the excess weight for good, I had to face the harsh realization that I was more or less the same size I’d always been.  None of it had “worked”. That’s when it hit me.  Controlling my food wasn’t the answer. It was something much deeper. It was in what I was using food FOR.  I’d put so much pressure on myself to the point that I was exhausted. Obsessed with productivity until I finally needed a release, and I found that in food.

Multiple times a week I would find myself alone at night eating up to 8,000 calories of “clean” foods.   3 Apples, 5 servings of almond butter, 3 Lara Bars, a bag of dried unsweetened mangoes, smoothies, eggs and bacon, whatever was in my fridge.  Adhering to my “guidelines” but desperate to escape myself for just a little while. Compulsive eating is seen as a really shameful thing and I promise that if you don’t do it yourself, you know someone who does.  It’s very easy to hide and it’s almost always done alone. From what I’ve seen, most sufferers are not overweight at all.  It occurred to me that I was essentially a functioning drug addict. That may seem dramatic but anybody who has lived it knows it’s true.  In my opinion, food addiction is one of the hardest things to manage because you can’t just stop eating entirely.

It has been two weeks now since I’ve had any sort of binge and I’ve been putting in a lot of work so that I can say that.  I will elaborate on this more at a later date but what this specific blog post is about is this idea of finally FEELING.  When you take away your comfort- be it food, alcohol, drugs, sex, exercise, another person, technology, whatever- and you give yourself nowhere to bolt to, your only option is to deal with all of the feelings.  The good and the bad.  And if I’ve learned anything, it’s that you absolutely MUST feel your emotions to expel them from yourself. Otherwise they just internalize and you carry them around with you.  So if you can, challenge yourself to stay present. Keep a journal and make a list of “I feel…” statements. Tune in! And most importantly, be incredibly compassionate with yourself through this process. It’s not easy.  But it’s certainly worth it.


More in my video blog…