Clean Eating Shopping List

“Clean eating” is one of those new phrases that I’ve been hearing everywhere lately. Everyone seems to be cleaning up their diet, trying to eat less processed foods and more fresh and “whole” foods. The exact parameters might vary slightly from one person to the next about what makes a food “clean,” but the overall rules remain the same.

1. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store – you’ll be stocking up on produce and things in refrigerated areas (meat, eggs, milk). You won’t be getting too many things from the middle of the store unless they’re staple pantry items.

2. The ingredient list on any pre-made foods shouldn’t be longer than five to six ingredients.

3. If there are a ton of things on the ingredient list that you can’t pronounce, don’t buy it.

I recently completed a 30-day clean eating challenge and spent a good amount of time in the grocery store wondering what to buy, looking at labels and wondering how to determine if something was “clean enough” to buy and eat. Here’s a shopping list to get you started.

ProducePretty much any fresh fruit and vegetable will do, but I bought a lot of:

  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Bananas
  • Frozen fruit for smoothies
  • Spinach and lettuce (for smoothies and salads)
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Sugar snap peas (my new favorite snack!)
  • Zucchini and other types of squash
  • Red Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic

Dairy Dairy is kind a gray-area for clean eating. Some people avoid it completely, and others say it’s fine. I chose to keep it in my diet:

  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Cottage cheese
  • String cheese
  • Mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • Real Parmesan cheese (not something in a can on the shelf)
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Butter (use sparingly – I’ve only used this once or twice for baking)


  • Water
  • Green Tea
  • Coffee

Pantry Items – No, this doesn’t mean pretzels, cookies or crackers!

  • Raw nuts
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oatmeal (real oat, not packets of instant)
  • Chickpeas and other beans
  • Tuna fish
  • White whole wheat Flour
  • Raw sugar (use sparingly – I only use this for baking)
  • AK-Mak crackers
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Chicken, beef or veggie broth
  • Lara bars
  • Dates
  • Chia seeds


  • Eggs
  • Chicken or turkey breasts
  • Ground chicken or turkey

Spices and condiments

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey
  • Dried spices
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Stevia (an all natural sweetener)


6 Responses to Clean Eating Shopping List

  1. I always balk at the sound of clean eating. Not that it doesn’t sound appealing, it just sounds complicated and like too much work. Now that I’ve read your description and list of items, I think I’m going to make it a priority to eat clean.

    • Samantha – I’m so glad you are going to give it a try! The first day or two was challenging, but after the sugar gets out of your system, it’s almost easy! I completed a 30 day challenge over the summer and that post should be going up on MSW in the coming weeks. Good luck!

  2. Pingback: Clean Eating: Apple Crisp Mama Say What?! | Mama Say What?!

  3. Thanks for this post. Just curious, did you lose any weight changing over to clean eating? I’ve been trying to eat “clean” and then end up eating lots of nuts, avocado, hummus, etc. and I fear I’ll pack on the pounds. Then others tell me they drop weight eating this way because calories aren’t created equal.

    • Hi Nicole – I actually did – I lost about 12 lbs in 6 weeks or so. So it was pretty significant. Since making this my “way of life” more or less, I haven’t noticed the dramatic weight loss that I did when I initially started eating clean.

      I just (today!) completed the Whole30, which is clean eating to the extreme ( and I didn’t notice weight loss for this program. Maybe because I was already eating fairly clean, or maybe because my body didn’t do best with high fat/no carb foods.

      And yes, calories are definitely not created equal!! It’s important to have lots of “good” fast, like avacado, coconut oil and nuts too. Good luck!

  4. Thanks so much, MaryEllen! I’ll have to give it another try :)

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