Rachel Elizabeth’s Clean Grocery Shopping List


Cause Fitness Approved


While “pretty” original page is down, here is a simple text version of a #CauseFitnessApproved sample grocery list. Please note: this list is not exhaustive, but is meant to get you started on the right track. 


  • Chicken Breast, Skinless
  • Tuna (in water)
  • White Meat Chicken (in water)
  • White Fish (tilapia, cod, halibut)
  • Fatty Fish, in moderation (salmon and sea bass)
  • Shrimp
  • Extra Lean Ground Beef or Ground Round (92-96%)
  • Buffalo steak (lean)
  • Protein Powder (lactose and Sucralose free)
  • Egg Whites and/or Eggs (3-1 is a decent ratio)
  • Rib eye Steak or Roast
  • Top Round Steaks or Roast (aka Stew Meat, London Broil, Stir Fry)
  • Top Sirloin (aka Sirloin Top Butt)
  • Beef Tenderloin (aka Filet, Filet Mignon)
  • Top Loin (NY Strip Steak)
  • Flank Steak (Sir Fry, Fajita)
  • Eye of Round (Cube Meat, Stew Meat, Bottom Round , 96% Lean Ground Round)
  • Extra Lean Ground turkey, Turkey Breast Slices or cutlets (fresh meat, not deli cuts)

Complex Carbs 

  • Oatmeal (Old Fashioned or Steel Cut)
  • Sweet Potatoes or Yams
  • Beans (pinto, black, kidney)
  • Oat Bran Cereal (watch sugar, less than 6 grams)
  • Brown Rice
  • Ezekiel Bread (frozen healthy section of Kroger’s or Whole Foods, baked goods section of Trader Joes)
  • Farina (Cream of Wheat from box)
  • Multigrain Hot Cereal
  • Pasta (brown rice, whole wheat, Ezekiel brand – watch serving, very dense)
  • Rice (jasmine, basmati, Arborio, wild, brown)
  • Potatoes (red, baking, new)
  • Kashi Low Sugar Cereals (less than 6 grams of sugar)
  • Whole Wheat Pita (Low Carb Variety – Joseph’s Pita Bread, or Food for Life brand)
  • Corn Tortillas (check all ingredients first, Food for Life is good)
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas (Food for Life brand)
  • Rice Cakes (lightly salted or unsalted only)

Fibrous Carbs & Vegetables (Fresh first, frozen second, canned last choice)

  • Green Leafy Lettuce (Green Leaf, Red, Leaf, Romaine)/Bagged Salad
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • String Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Spinach
  • Bell Peppers
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Sprouts
  • Cucumber
  • Green or Red Pepper
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Squash (all varieties)
  • Pumpkin

Fruit (watch sugar – still counts for sugar intake)

  • Berries (blueberries and raspberries)
  • Lemons or Limes
  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Bananas, strawberries, peaches or plums – *Eat sparingly (high sugar)*
  • Avoid dried fruits, including raisins (high sugar)

Healthy Fats

  • Natural Style or Organic Peanut Butter, Almond Butter (only ingredient should be nut, maybe salt)
  • Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Flaxseed Oil
  • Nuts (peanuts, almonds)
  • Avocado
  • Seeds

Dairy, Dairy Alternatives, & Eggs

I usually advise avoiding dairy, but if you must, choose non-fat, unsweetened, organic varieties. 

  • Cottage cheese
  • Eggs and Egg whites
  • Non-fat plain greek yogurt (add your own fruit, if you must)
  • Almond Milk, unsweetened
  • Coconut Milk, unsweetened
  • Rice Milk, unsweetened
  • Cashew Milk, unsweetened


  • Filtered Water
  • Club Soda, unsweetened
  • Tea, unsweetened
  • Black Coffee, unsweetened

Condiments & Misc. 

  • Fat Free Mayonnaise (on occasion)
  • Ketchup (organic only)
  • Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salsa or Fresh Pico De Gallo
  • Stevia or Monk Fruit
  • Maple Syrup (in extreme moderation, super high sugar)
  • Chili Paste
  • Tomato Paste (low sugar)
  • Mustard (yellow or Dijon)
  • Extracts (vanilla, almond, etc) – look for no alcohol (I like Trader Joe’s)
  • Low Sodium Fat-Free Beef or Chicken Broth
  • Plain or reduced sodium tomatoes sauce, puree, paste (look for low sugar)
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Fat free cooking spray (I like Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Spray)
  • Unsweetened Applesauce

Herbs & Spices (pretty safe here, just avoid sugar)

  • Chili powder
  • Mrs. Dash (all varieties)
  • McCormick’s (all varieties)
  • Cinnamon
  • Allspice
  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dill
  • Ginger
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Paprika
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Curry Powder
  • Red Pepper
  • Marjoram
  • Tarragon
  • Dry Mustard
  • Cumin
  • Saffron
  • Nutmeg
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Black Pepper

Email me with questions or for custom meal plans using contact form here.



  • Jin Kim

    Are there specific times, where we should avoid certain foods? For example, is it okay to eat an apple at night. Or carbs?

    • Check out the DIY MEAL PLAN I just posted for help with nutrient timing :) http://causefitness.com/?p=930

    • Nutrient timing is tricky. With your example of an apple (a good sugar and fibrous, but still a sugar no matter how you slice it), I’d make sure you’re getting it at a time of day when your glycogen levels are depleted: first thing in the morning (to ‘break-fast’) or pre/post workout (I recommend post with a lean protein source or whey protein shake, personally). :)

  • Nutrient timing is tricky. With your example of an apple (a good sugar and fibrous, but still a sugar no matter how you slice it), I’d make sure you’re getting it at a time of day when your glycogen levels are depleted: first thing in the morning (to ‘break-fast’) or pre/post workout (I recommend post with a lean protein source or whey protein shake, personally). :)

  • Brad Christie

    How about some great meal plans/recipes using the above items? A few examples of what you can cook up when you get home, or take with you for lunch would be perfect to top the list off.

    • Thanks. I plan on it. This is a ‘soft’ launch. There is SO much more content to include. I’m just not there yet. I wanted to make sure I had a site with some ‘who and what and why’ on it that I could direct people to. So stay tuned! Much more to come! :)

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  • Johnberry

    Hi Rachel Elizabeth – Have just become aware of your Cause Fitness, really like what I see. I’m trying to stay Vegan basically to eliminate potential for stroke & heart attacks. I follow Caldwell Esselstyn’s Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease. He was featured in that Forks Over Knives doccumentary. I also read Joel Furman’s Eat to Live. I’m looking for plant based protein like broccoli, spinach. My question is, It seems that Whey for example is a better than any plant based source for rebuilding muscle. Am I wrong about this or totally confused. aloha

    John Berry johnberry7@live.com

    • I saw “Forks Over Knives” too and I agree that full fat meat is not heart healthy. I also agree that dairy shouldn’t be consumed regularly as adults. You don’t see grown cows or other animals who drink milk as infants growing up and STILL consuming milk, so why do we? Anyway, to address your question…yes, based on copious studies, whey protein has been shown to be one of, if not the best protein source to fuel muscle building protein synthesis and tissue growth/repair. You can get it in lactose and ‘all natural’ (no artificial flavors/ingredients, organic, etc), but it is a fantastic choice for building and maintaining muscle.

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  • LM

    I’d be careful about anything from a can. The insides of the metal cans are lined in plastic resin containing BPA that leaches into foods – especially acidic ones like tomotoes. http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/92-percent-of-canned-goods-contain-bisphenol-a.htm  Also, the EWG has listed produce ranked by how much pesticides are used upon them. A google search on Produce ranked by pesticide usage ought to turn up information you can judge for yourself. So while a certain food is clean and healthy, in theory, we ought to be aware of what happens to them on their way to the grocery shelves. Avocado is one of the clean ones, but apples are the worst offenders. Fortunately, most of the ‘dirty’ ones could likely be easily grown at home for those interested in home gardening.

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  • Amanda

    This is majorly helpful!! You’re an amazing soure for information & a major inspiration! Thank you for your dedication!

  • Kwadwo Boateng

    Just used this for my student shopping! With some street-wise sense and some effort, getting your list above was a GREAT decision. i’ll be sustained for the coming months! Thank you Rachel :)

  • Morgan Ashley

    What pre-workout do you use/recommend?

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