Balance with Mariana's CLEAN EATING Shopping List

Healthy eating starts with stocking your kitchen and pantry with the right foods.

Last month I shared some of the key guidelines to follow when doing your food shopping (Your Shopping Guide to a Healthier Life)- including the importance of reading ingredient labels, what to focus on when looking at nutrition labels, and more.

Today I’m sharing my CLEAN EATING Grocery List with 90 of the foods that I buy; foods that will put you on the path toward a healthier, happier, more balanced and confident self.

The foods below are primarily unprocessed WHOLE FOODS, or minimally processed, and often used in my recipes.

Most of these will be found on the OUTER PERIMETER of your supermarket, and others in the bulk section with dried goods/nuts/seeds (the bulk section applies mostly to US & European health supermarkets), and of course, in your local “health markets” / organic stores / farmers markets.

Note: I took into consideration foods available in the US that I personally always buy, of which most are also available in Nicaragua. However you can skip whatever items are not available to you. If you’re in Nicaragua, feel free to ask me where to get any of these foods and I can help guide you!

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1.      Tropical in season fruit, such as Papaya, Mango, Guava, Pitaya, Coconut and Pineapple (when in season)*

2.      Apples

3.      Pears

4.      Berries (fresh and frozen but preferably organic) including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries

5.      Lemon/lime, and other citrus fruits including Oranges, Grapefruit, Tangerines and Nectarines

6.      Melon, including Watermelon

7.      Bananas

8.      Kiwi

9.      Plums

10.  Dates, Figs and Prunes

11.  Avocado

12.  Tomatoes

13.  Squash: zucchini, yellow summer squash, acorn squash, butternut squash – whatever is in season

14.  Cucumber

15.  Green Beans

16.  Green Leafy Vegetables, including: lettuce (all varieties), spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens, swiss chard, bok choy, mustard greens (at least 2 of these should ALWAYS be in your fridge!)

17.  Carrots

18.  Sweet Potatoes and Yams

19.  Celery

20.  Cabbage (green and red/purple), and sauerkraut (fermented cabbage(

21.  Beets

22.  Asparagus

23.  Corn (if non-gmo)

24.  Bell Peppers

25.  Eggplant

26.  Broccoli

27.  Cauliflower

28.  Mushrooms

29.  Brussels Sprouts

30.  Garlic

31.  Onions, including green onions, red onions, leeks, shallots

32.  Any other fresh local/seasonal vegetable * (like Chayote in Nicaragua, or Okra in the US summer)


33.  Eggs, preferably labeled organic, cage-free and pasture-raised

34.  Chicken, preferably hormone-free, antibiotic-free and pasture-raised

35.  Turkey: oven roasted turkey breast and deli or ground turkey meat

36.  Fish and Seafood (preferably wild caught) and either local or from cold waters

37.  Pork: only high-quality lean pork cuts from butcher, avoid processed pork

38.  Lean cuts of grass-fed beef, lamb, venison and/or bison, including lean ground beef/lamb/bison

39.  Plain Greek yogurt, ideally low-fat (I suggest 2% and preferably organic) and/or non-dairy yogurt such as Coconut Yogurt*

40.  Sheep or Goats milk cheese (in moderation, preferably organic), such as Feta, Ricotta, Pecorino Romano, Goat cheese, and Cottage cheese (avoid fat free, low-fat is ok)*

*for dairy milk, yogurt and cheese, 0% fat means its very processed, so avoid the non-fat versions

DRIED GOODS: Grains, Beans/Legumes, Nuts, Seeds & Flours

41.  Beans: kidney beans, pinto beans, adzuki beans, black beans, mung beans, white beans and soy beans (edamame)

42.  Other legumes/pulses: lentils, peas, split-peas, chickpeas and black-eyed peas

43.  Tofu and Tempeh (if you can find organic/non-GMO) *admittedly, difficult to find in Nicaragua

44.  Quinoa (and other gluten-free grains/ “grain-like seeds” including Teff, Amaranth, Millet, Buckwheat/Kasha)

45.  Rice: brown rice, black rice, wild rice, basmati rice and jasmine rice

46.  Oats: preferably organic steel-cut oats, otherwise organic rolled oats, always UNFLAVORED

47.  Whole grains (that contain gluten, optional): Farro, Barley, Whole-wheat Couscous, Bulgar

48.  Bread: look for fewest ingredients possible and opt for whole grain preferably sprouted grain like Ezekiel

49.  Tortillas, made from non-gmo corn, or sprouted wheat tortillas

50.  Flours (should buy/use sparingly) such as Coconut flour, Buckwheat flour, Chickpea flour, Almond Flour and Whole Wheat Flour

51.  Gluten-free pastas (organic), including: Buckwheat pasta, lentil pasta, black bean pasta and chickpea pasta (totally optional but I love these)

52.  Seeds, including: Chia seeds, Flax seeds, Hemp seeds, Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds (gomasio)

53.  Nuts, including: Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews, Brazil nuts, Macadamia, Pecans, Pine nuts, Hazelnuts

54.  Nut butters: Tahini (sesame seed butter), almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter

55.  Raw powdered cacao, cacao nibs and organic dark chocolate (70-90% dark)

56.  Dried shredded coconut and Coconut Butter (optional, but it’s a staple in my pantry!)


57.  Coconut Milk (look for organic in bpa-free can with minimal preservatives; Thai Kitchen is a good brand)

58.  Almond milk (look for carrageenan-free and unsweetened) and other nut/seed milks such as Hemp Milk and Cashew Milk

59.  Organic Tomato sauce, Tomato paste, Crushed tomatoes and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

60.  Extra virgin olive oil

61.  Coconut oil

62.  Ghee or Clarified Butter (preferably grass-fed/organic),

63.  Other healthy oils/fats including: Avocado oil, Sesame oil and Walnut oil

64.  Apple cider vinegar (I label this separate from other vinegars as its a must!)

65.  Other vinegars: Balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, umeboshi plum vinegar

66.  Whole-grain mustard, preferably organic

67.  Soy-Sauce alternatives: Coconut Aminos, Liquid Aminos and/or Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce). Alternatively, you can use traditional low-sodium soy sauce (but always look for one labeled non-GMO soy)

68.  Hot sauce/Tabasco and Sriracha (look out for ingredients, choose those with minimal ingredients and minimal or no preservatives)

69.  Raw Honey (choose organic if possible)

70.  Pure Maple Syrup (choose organic if possible); can also get Raw organic Agave

71.  Coconut Palm Sugar or Coconut Nectar (choose organic if possible)

72.  Pure organic Stevia extract (optional)

73.  Pure organic Vanilla extract (useful for baking, but even just to sweeten chia pudding, smoothies, when making your own almond milk, and for most  healthy desserts)

74.  Teas and coffee: including green tea, matcha green tea, chai tea, rooibos tea, ginger tea, mint tea, chamomile tea, and other delicious blends, Teeccino (chicory root coffee alternative), organic coffee

75.  Powdered Superfood Greens and other superfoods, adaptogens and smoothie boosters such as grass-fed Collagen Peptides, Maca, Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Bee Pollen, Camu-Camu, Lucuma

76.  High-quality vegan protein powders (for green protein smoothies) such as: Garden of Life, Sun Warrior, Amazing Grass, ALOHA or Primal Kitchen Collagen Protein

77.  Raw Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage, found in refrigerated section, and make sure it has no vinegar)

78.  Aloe Vera Gel/Juice (for both internal and external consumption!)

HERBS & SPICES (Fresh and Dried)

79.  Basil

80.  Rosemary

81.  Parsley

82.  Cilantro

83.  Oregano

84.  Dill

85.  Sage

86.  Sprouts and “Micro-greens”

87.  Ginger and Turmeric root (fresh)

88.  Ground dried spices, including: Turmeric, Fennel seed, Cumin, Coriander, Curry, Garam Masala, Mustard seed, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Herbes de Provence, etc.

89.  Pink Himalayan salt, Celtic salt and other sea salts

90.  Black pepper, White pepper, Cayenne Pepper and crushed red pepper flakes



·        Corn oil, Soybean oil, and all mixed vegetable oils

·        Margarine (including “I can’t believe its not butter”!)

·        Crisco, Pam

·        White sugar

·        Anything with high fructose corn syrup

·        Artificial sweeteners including Splenda (and anything with artificial sweeteners)

·        Most packaged chips and cookies (avoid anything with a long list of ingredients, especially with any colors, ingredients that you’re unsure what they are, artificial or even “natural” flavors if not listed, and watch out for grams of sugar and sodium)

·        Fruit Juices that include added sugar and other artificial ingredients

·        Soda/Soft Drinks (Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, 7 Up, Diet soda, root beer, etc.)

·        Energy Drinks

·        Fruits & Vegetables in preserved states (example: fruit in sugary syrup)

·        Pre-Made Canned Products such as Soups or Pasta

·        Boxed/Bagged Convenience Meals

Eating “clean” by sticking to primarily the items on this list will make you feel energetic, and these foods will fill you up, without sending you on blood-sugar roller-coasters or creating inflammation, like most processed foods will. AND they keep you full.

I personally stick to the items on this list when grocery shopping, and use them to fill my plate with mostly veggies, some lean protein (whether its animal protein or beans/legumes), healthy fats, and some healthy carbs (and/or fruit) like sweet potato or occasionally quinoa or brown rice. This way my meals are BALANCED, keep me full, and keep my system as “clean” as possible, with limited toxins and inflammation.

Oh and of course, they’re always delicious!

Now it’s your turn! Try using my list to come up with meals that work for you. Check out my recipes, my food pics on Instagram for inspiration,and feel free to ask me for any additional recipes!