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This Shopping List Will Help You Create a Delicious 'Clean Eating' Routine

It doesn't have to be such a chore.

clean eating, diet

In Is It All It's Juiced Up to Be? featured in the August/September Issue, I caution against juice cleanses. Juice cleanses lack health benefits and won’t help you establish a lasting, realistic, healthy eating pattern. Whether your goal is to lose weight, improve your health, or detoxify your system, your best bet is to develop a lasting routine of whole foods. Not only is this strategy healthier, but it is less expensive and more fun! No budget-breaking juices or awkward need to proclaim, “I can’t hang out with you tonight because I’m cleansing.”

Simply focus on making half your plate seasonal fruits and vegetables. Get the other half of your meal from a combination of whole grains and lean protein.  Buy local whenever possible, and organic if you can.  No reason to restrict yourself to juices when you can enjoy yourself with a variety of delicious salads, roasted vegetables, hearty grains, and tasty smoothies (for meals on the run). I love clean-eating recipes from the June/July issue’s “Dining in the Stone Age” and August/September’s “Unmeasured” salads.

Need a shock to your system to get you motivated? Challenge yourself to a week free of processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, or animal fat (from meat, butter, or dairy). After a week, keep it clean by reintroducing these foods in modest portions, as occasional treats.

Get started with this clean-eating shopping list, focused on some of what’s in-season now. Add to it with your own favorite market picks.

The Clean Eating Starter’s List

Fresh Fruit:

  • Berries like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries

  • Stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums, and pluots

  • Melon like cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon

  • Tomatoes


  • Summer squash like zucchini, yellow crooked-neck, and white scalloped (aka patty-pan)

  • Cucumbers

Whole Grains:

  • Fresh Corn

  • Sprouted bread, like brand Ezekiel 4:9

  • Brown Rice

Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes:

  • Raw nuts, like almonds or walnuts

  • Raw nut butters, like natural peanut or cashew butter

  • Seeds like sunflower, flax, or pumpkin. Try quinoa for cooking (it’s a seed, not a grain!)

  • Sprouted or dried beans: sprouted, fresh beans are quick to prepare

Healthy Fats:

  • Olive, walnut, or sesame oil for dressing salads or cooking

  • Avocado: a healthy, unsaturated fat, great for clean eating

Clean Drinks and Treats:

  • Coconut Water: great for post-workout replenishment or for cooking

  • Dark Chocolate: antioxidant-rich, even in a small portion

  • Herbal Tea

  • Red Wine: A glass of the good stuff is good for you!