How to Make a Healthy and Balanced Clean Eating Grocery List

As a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, I believe that having a clean eating grocery list on hand is essential for everyone who is just starting out on their wellness journey.

Eating clean can be daunting to newbies, but with the right strategies and resources, it can be easier and more enjoyable.

With this guide as your companion, not only will you be able to better understand what foods are beneficial for your health, but you’ll also learn various tips on how to grocery shop in the most effective way possible.

You’ll get an overview of what clean eating entails along with tips on where to buy healthy food items and helpful kitchen appliances that help make meal prepping much simpler.

What is clean eating?

Clean eating is an approach to healthy living that focuses on whole, unprocessed foods. It emphasizes eating more fruits, vegetables, animal proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, while avoiding or limiting foods that are heavily processed, full of added sugar or unhealthy fats. 

Clean eating can help to promote overall health and well-being by fueling the body with nutrient-rich foods.

Eating clean is a great way to boost your health, as it involves eating whole and unprocessed foods that are full of vitamins and nutrients. 

Whole foods provide the body with a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber to fuel our metabolism and keep us satiated throughout the day.

By contrast, processed foods contain fewer beneficial vitamins and minerals due to the manufacturing process they go through. As such, clean eating helps you get more out of every bite by ensuring you’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal health.

This means you can be sure that what you’re putting in your body is nourishing, fresh, and delicious.

Learning how to eat clean can help you make better food choices, increase your nutrient intake, and help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Mother and young daughter chopping lettuce together as they prepare a healthy meal.

General rules when following a clean eating plan

When following a clean eating diet, there are a few guidelines you should keep in mind:

  • Eat unprocessed, real foods as much as possible. This means eating foods that either don’t need a label or foods that contain ingredients that you and your great great grandfather would recognize.
  • Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose whole-grain products over refined grains.
  • Opt for organic and pasture raised food sources when available.
  • Consume plenty of natural sources of protein.
  • Limit your intake of sugar, refined carbs, and artificial ingredients.
  • Don’t skip out on the healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds.

These general rules for clean eating will help ensure that you are getting all the essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats your body needs to run optimally.

Benefits of clean eating

When it comes to wellness and wanting to eat healthier, eating whole, nutritious food can do wonders for the body.

Boosts energy and performance

Eating whole, unprocessed foods is essential for achieving superior physical performance and increased energy levels. 

Research has shown that consuming natural sources of vitamins and minerals found in fresh produce, healthy fats and proteins aids in the body’s ability to metabolize nutrients efficiently which leads to improved physical performance as well as sustained energy levels throughout the day.

Promotes weight loss

Eating a clean diet is an effective way to lose weight since it focuses on foods that are unprocessed and free of added sugar and unhealthy fats. By avoiding processed food, you will be able to naturally reduce calories and lose weight without having to count every calorie. 

Not only can it help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, but it also encourages healthier eating habits that can enable you to reach your goals.

Balances blood sugar levels

Eating whole, unprocessed foods is an important part of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Whole foods contain complex carbohydrates that are slowly digested and broken down by the body, preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. 

Additionally, eating clean helps to reduce inflammation which can further help to regulate your blood sugar levels. 

Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables will provide essential vitamins and minerals as well as fiber which helps slow digestion and keep you feeling full longer – both key components for regulating your blood sugar.

Increases nutrient absorption

Eating clean means you are consuming more nutrients from whole foods which will help improve your nutrient absorption

Furthermore, when you eat fresh fruits and veggies it helps provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy.

Improves gut health

Eating a clean diet can help improve your gut health and create a healthier microbiome in your digestive system. This is because when you eat real food, your gut bacteria will be able to properly digest and absorb the nutrients from these foods. 

Additionally, eating a clean diet can help reduce inflammation in the body which can aid in reducing symptoms such as bloating or cramping.

Leads to less anxiety and better mental health

Eating clean has been known to reduce stress levels and decrease anxiety. This is because it helps regulate your hormones and provide you with proper nourishment for a healthy body and mind. 

Mental health is also increased when you are eating clean because you’re consuming fewer toxins and more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body.

Reduces cravings

Eating clean can also help reduce cravings, since whole foods provide the body with more nutrients and fiber that will keep you fuller longer. 

Also, since processed foods often contain added sugar, eating real food will help reduce your sugar cravings as eating more sugar creates more cravings for sugar.

Lowers the risk of many diseases

Eating whole, unprocessed foods can also reduce the risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity by improving blood sugar levels and decreasing inflammation in the body.

printable cheatsheet

Real Food Guide

Get started on your healthy journey easier and faster with this free guide!

What to do before you grab food from your clean grocery shopping list

Getting your kitchen organized before grocery shopping is essential for creating an efficient and successful food-buying experience. It allows you to plan ahead, create a list of items that you need, and make sure that you’re not buying food you don’t actually need.

Additionally, having your kitchen organized will help reduce food waste by making sure your fresh food doesn’t go bad before you get to them. By taking the time to organize your kitchen before going shopping, you can save both time and money while also ensuring that you’re eating healthy meals.

Clean out the pantry

Before shopping for new food, it’s important to take the time to clean out your pantry of expired and ultra-processed junk foods that contain unhealthy and artificial ingredients. 

By doing this, you can ensure that you’re making it harder to repeatedly consume junk food and eating only the healthiest ingredients found on your new clean eating pantry list.

Take inventory

Taking inventory of your kitchen before going grocery shopping is important to determine what items you need to purchase and what you already have on hand. 

Taking the time to do this can reduce food waste and can help save money by only purchasing the needed ingredients for your upcoming meals. 

Additionally, it will make sure that you are buying fresh foods and that you have all the ingredients necessary to make meals.

Organize your kitchen

Organizing your kitchen is essential for successful clean eating. Ensure that healthy and unprocessed foods are within easy reach while unhealthy and processed food items are kept out of sight and are harder to grab. Doing this encourages healthier eating habits by making it easier to access nutritious foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

Using labels and bins can also help in making the kitchen easier to navigate, especially when it comes to pantry items. This way, you’ll know exactly where everything is so you don’t have to go searching for them each time you need something or wonder if you need to pick up more at the store.

Plan out your meals

Whether you prefer to plan your meals yourself or use a meal plan subscription like Prep Dish, planning out your meals in advance can help ensure that you are eating healthy and nutritious meals and shopping accordingly.

Having a plan for the week allows you to buy only the necessary ingredients and make sure that you are not wasting food by buying too much or purchasing items that will go unused. 

A meal plan also makes grocery shopping easier and more efficient, as it eliminates guesswork and allows you to create a shopping list that is tailored to your specific needs.

Create your shopping list

Creating a clean eating shopping list is essential for a successful grocery shopping outing. Having a grocery list is key to staying on track with clean eating since it allows you to focus on buying only what you need while avoiding impulse buys. Many meal plans include a clean eating grocery list which makes this step that much easier to complete.

When making your grocery list, try to split it into categories like produce, proteins, fridge, etc. This way, you won’t have to hunt around for items in the store or run the risk of missing certain items and having to retrace your steps. Instead, you can quickly find exactly what you need.

A clean eating grocery list zoomed in on the fresh fruit section.

Clean eating meal plan made easy

Following a clean eating meal plan can help you stay on track with your healthy eating goals. I love using Prep Dish meal plans because they provide all of the necessary ingredients in an easy-to-follow shopping list, nutrition information (on certain plans), and preparation instructions needed to make meals quickly and easily.

With Prep Dish, you prep your entire week in just a few hours so the time spent cooking on your busy weekdays is minimal. You can also customize your meal plan and choose the plan that best fits your needs: Whole 30, AIP, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, dairy-free, and keto.

If you prefer a little more flexibility in your meal planning and don’t want the actual meals chosen for you (or you have a picky eater in your family), then Real Plans is another great option.  Real Plans allows you to choose your recipes and then it will create a grocery list and timeline based on those recipes so you know exactly what you need to get and do and when.

If you would rather use the help of a cookbook and not a meal plan service, you can also check out Cook Once, Eat All Week by Cassy Joy Garcia which includes 26 easy and delicious healthy meal plans that can be referred to again and again.

Why not save time and money wasted on ingredients that never get used and opt for a simple, and delicious meal plan? This makes you look like an expert in the kitchen and makes your clean eating grocery list that much easier.

Where to buy items off your list of clean food

When grocery shopping for items from your clean eating grocery list, it’s important to shop from stores that offer natural, whole foods. While your local grocery store may have a decent selection, stores that specialize in natural foods can often provide a larger one allowing you the opportunity to try new healthy foods and more easily stock your clean eating kitchen.

Here are some great places to stock up on fresh produce and other clean and healthy foods:

  • Your local farmers market
  • Natural grocery stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s
  • Health food stores such as Sprouts or Natural Grocers
  • Online grocers such as Thrive Market (my personal favorite), and Amazon Fresh
  • Local health food co-ops

No matter where you choose to shop, the key is to stick with natural and organic whole foods that are minimally processed. By shopping at these stores, you can ensure that your groceries meet clean eating standards that help keep you on track for a healthier lifestyle.

Quick tips for shopping for groceries

If you want to get the most benefits from eating clean and make healthier choices when it comes to grocery shopping, here are a few things to keep in mind before you head out to the grocery store:

  • Stick to your clean eating shopping list.
  • Shop mostly the parameter of the grocery store.
  • Choose healthy foods that are minimally processed, organic and non-GMO when able.
  • Read labels and be sure you are able to recognize all ingredients listed.
  • Avoid most packaged, processed foods.
  • Avoid foods with lots of added sugars and unhealthy, inflammatory seed and vegetable oils.
  • Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.

Grocery shopping for whole foods can require some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming and will only get easier over time!

A assortment of clean and healthy foods including meat, nuts, vegetables, and fruit laying out on a table.

Shopping list for eating clean


  • Beef
  • Bison
  • Wild game including venison, wild boar, and elk
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Fresh and saltwater fish
  • Wild caught Alaskan salmon
  • Canned tuna
  • Crustaceans
  • Shellfish
  • Mollusks
  • Eggs from pasture-raised chickens
  • Grass-fed Greek yogurt
  • Protein powder (such as this one from Trulean)
  • Hemp hearts

Choose wild, hormone and antibiotic-free, grass-fed or pasture-raised where applicable and whenever possible.

Non-starchy vegetables

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Leafy greens
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Salsa
  • Seaweed
  • Sprouts
  • Tomatoes
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini

Starchy vegetables

  • Sweet potatoes
  • White potatoes
  • Yams
  • Yuca
  • Butternut squash
  • Winter squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Plantain
  • Jicama
  • Arrowroot
  • Beans
  • Cassava
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa

Fresh or frozen fruit

  • Dates
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Mixed berries
  • Cherries
  • Citrus fruits such as tangerines, oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Melons such as watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Pears
  • Apricot
  • Guava
  • Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
  • Plums

Whole grains

  • Rice
  • Gluten-free oats
  • Quinoa
  • Corn
  • Buckwheat
  • Sorghum
  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Gluten-free pasta

Healthy fats


Organic, cold-pressed and unrefined oils are best.

Nuts and seeds

Raw or roasted in a healthy oil with optional sea salt.


  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Cream
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek yogurt

Grass-fed dairy is best.

Whole foods

Dairy Alternatives

  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Oat milk

Watch out for added sweeteners, excess gums, and preservatives in these milks.

Baking staples

Healthy sweeteners

Pantry staples

  • Organic Dijon and yellow mustard
  • Organic ketchup
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Organic pasta sauce
  • Organic salsa
  • Vinegars (red wine, white wine, balsamic, and apple cider)
  • Coconut aminos
  • Organic lemon and lime juice
  • Various condiments, sauces, and dressings
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Tomato sauces, paste, crushed, cubed
  • Pumpkin, canned
  • Nut butters

Drinks & Powders

Ready-to-eat snacks

Be sure these contain healthy fats and limited added sugar.

printable cheatsheet

Real Food Guide

Get started on your healthy journey easier and faster with this free guide!

Foods to avoid or limit when creating your list of clean foods

Now that you have your clean eating grocery list for beginners on hand and ready to use, you need to remember the foods that are best to avoid. 

Many of the packaged food in grocery stores contain added chemicals and ingredients that cause inflammation in the body and can have negative impacts on health.

Here are some of the most common unhealthy ingredients that should be limited or avoided:

  • Processed meats containing nitrates and other preservatives (many cured meats, deli meats, and sausages).
  • Ready-made meals as they are often made with the cheapest of ingredients and loaded with sodium and preservatives.
  • Items with hydrogenated oils, trans fats, margarine, and other inflammatory oils like vegetable oil and corn oil.
  • Items containing large amounts of sugar, artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and corn syrup such as candy, soda, frozen dessert, and even some whole grain energy bars.
  • Alcohol is also something best to limit as it is filled with empty, non-nutritious calories and can easily interfere with your gut health, liver detox pathways, and healthy eating habits and can also cause poor food choices.

Favorite kitchen appliances

When it comes to eating clean, having a few favorite kitchen appliances on hand will make meal prep much easier!  

Here are a few of my go-to appliances when it comes to creating quick, easy, and delicious healthy meals:

  • A slow cooker can make it easier to cook and prepare large batches of meats or meals at once. Prep your meal in the morning and it’s ready to eat when you get home!
  • Pressure cookers are amazing for quickly making a hearty soup, stew, rice, chicken, and anything you would use a slow cooker for but in a shorter time frame.
  • Air fryers are great for making white and sweet potato fries, chicken fingers, numerous cuts of meat, and other roasted or fried meal items with much less oil than traditional frying methods and in a short amount of time.
  • A high-powered blender is another great tool to have in the kitchen to make healthy smoothies, oat flour, sauces, and even nut butters. Grab an immersion blender for easy cleanup on smaller blending needs as well as hot soups!

Grab one or two of the above, or get an 14-in-one Foodi to save precious kitchen space (my personal favorite), learn how to use it, and begin cooking some amazing, healthy meals!  

Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Clean eating shopping list takeaway

Eating clean is a great way to ensure that your body is getting all of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Though it can seem like a daunting task at first, clean eating doesn’t have to be!

Planning ahead, understanding the benefits, creating a clean eating grocery list, grocery shopping smartly, and having the right kitchen tools on hand are key to making this journey to healthier living much easier.

With the right staples in your pantry and fridge, you can create delicious meals without breaking your budget or spending hours preparing. Try it out today and see how much better you feel!

That said, don’t forget to also give yourself some grace and leniency as you adjust to eating clean. No one is perfect (and no one should be), and it takes time to learn new habits and make changes. Just remember that every little step counts — so don’t give up!

Good luck on your clean eating journey! I know you can do it!


What is a clean eating food list?

A clean eating food list typically includes whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, and animal proteins. It often excludes highly processed foods like refined grains and added sugars. Eating clean can also mean avoiding additives like artificial flavors, preservatives, and food dyes. The exact ingredients of a clean eating food list will depend on individual nutrition goals.

How to eat a healthy grocery list?

Creating a healthy grocery list involves selecting nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and gluten-free whole grains. Choose seasonal and local items when possible, read labels carefully to identify added sugar or sodium levels, opt for organic options when available and avoid processed foods. A meal plan can help guide your grocery shopping by providing an organized list of ingredients needed each week.

What is the ideal one week grocery list for one person?

The ideal one week grocery list for one person will include plenty of whole foods like fruits and vegetables, animal proteins such as poultry, fish and eggs, healthy fats such as nuts and seeds, along with some whole grains like oats or quinoa. When creating your grocery list for the week be sure to plan ahead to have enough ingredients for quick meals that do not require a lot of time to prepare.

What is your daily grocery shopping list?

My daily grocery shopping list is focused around whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables and animal proteins. I do prefer to shop for the week rather than day-to-day when possible so that I have a well-stocked fridge and pantry to accommodate my meal planning needs. This also helps to avoid grabbing unhealthy foods at the store on a whim as I’m better prepared and have a plan to keep me on track.

How healthy is the Nutritarian Diet?

The Nutritarian Diet is a plant-based diet that emphasizes the density of micronutrients in food. This dietary approach has been linked to many health benefits such as improved blood sugar regulation, better heart health and increased longevity. However, including high quality protein in your diet is also important for the body to function optimally. For this reason, pay special attention to plant-based proteins and also consider supplementing with nutrients that can only be found in animal products.

What is a healthy and easy diet I can do everyday?

A healthy and easy diet to do everyday is one that focuses on whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, animal proteins, and complex carbohydrates. Meal planning ahead of time can help make it easier to stay on track with healthy eating. Additionally, focus on limiting processed foods and added sugars to ensure you’re getting the most nutrient-dense options available.

What is a healthy diet to live a life with nutrition?

A healthy diet for living a life with nutrition focuses on natural and unprocessed foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, animal proteins, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Consuming nutrient-dense foods in moderate portions on a regular basis can help maintain nutrition for a lifetime by providing essential vitamins and minerals for optimal health. Additionally, limiting or avoiding processed foods high in sugar, salt or vegetable fat can also aid in leading a healthy lifestyle with nutrition.

How does a healthy diet add 10 years to your life?

A healthy diet can add up to 10 years to a person’s life by reducing the risk of chronic diseases, improving overall physical and mental wellbeing, and providing essential vitamins and minerals for optimal health. Eating nutrient-dense foods in moderation helps support energy levels, immune system function, metabolism and other bodily processes that are essential for longevity. Additionally, consuming clean foods may help reduce inflammation in the body which is associated with aging.

What are the benefits of making a list before going to the supermarket?

Making a list before going to the supermarket can help ensure you only purchase what you need and avoid impulse purchases. It also helps save time, as it keeps you focused on the items that are essential rather than wandering aimlessly through aisles. Making a list also helps maintain budget discipline by limiting unnecessary expenses while shopping.

Read More on All-Things Nutrition Anywhere Tips:

My Wellness Anywhere Toolkit

  • Rocky Mountain Oils – essential oils for energy, stress-relief, immunity, first aid, natural cleaning, better sleep, pain relief, & more!
  • Femme Royale – the most comfortable fitness outfits & my all-time favorite backpack-turns-weightlifting bag, the Empack, perfect at home & anywhere!
  • Trulean – the best travel packets of clean protein powder & wellness-boosting drink mixes.
  • Suspension Trainer – a fun & portable piece of workout equipment that enables you to workout in your hotel room or outside in nature!
  • Loop Bands & Tube Bands – super lightweight strength-training bands that can be brought anywhere without taking up much space or weight.
  • Pure Wave percussion massager – best percussion massager for releasing trigger points & relaxing muscles, including all the hard-to-reach areas!
  • IntelliRoll foam rollers – favorite foam rollers for daily use that hits all the right spots with their one-of-a-kind design.
  • Thrive Market – amazing online grocer for stocking up on all your healthy & travelable snacks at a discount!
  • Prep Dish – nutritious meal-planning service that saves you stress, time, & energy and guides you on prepping your entire week in just a couple hours.
  • Cook Once, Eat All Week – all-time favorite cookbook that provides 26 weeks of healthy meal plans that can be prepped & cooked in bulk each week.
  • Just Thrive – the best spore probiotic for keeping your gut health in-check no matter where you are in the world.
  • Empower yourself and become your own wellness advocate by joining the next ​​Nutritional Therapy or Health Coach class​​ and use code TWANUTRITION to receive a special bonus gift!
  • Expedia – great place to book your wellness travels & accommodations.
  • Viator – best place for booking experiences that compliment your travels.

Want to learn more simple & sustainable wellness tips? Check out My Resources page where you can grab all my best guides & trainings created just for you!

Read More on All-Things Nutrition Anywhere Tips:

Pinnable image of a woman preparing healthy food in a modern kitchen with the words how to make a healthy and balanced clean eating grocery list overlayed on top.