Spring Detox Grocery List

Ordinarily, when I say I'm doing some kind of cleanse/detox, my friends will roll their eyes and assume I'm up to my "hippie sh%&."  However, for some reason, this time around everyone is super interested.  Must be something in the air, or just the prospect of bikinis looming, but more and more people are willing to try out a cleanse nowadays.  Perhaps it's the influx of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley extolling the virtues of these detoxes, and while you can roll your eyes at them all you want, the fact is they both look pretty f$&%ing awesome.  The problem is, as it always will be: time.  Well, that, and willingness.  If you don't really wanna do this, it's ain't gonna happen.  But if you've never done one before, it can seem daunting in terms of finding something to eat, and having the time to cook it.  My method is: keep it simple.  Invest some money in some basic ingredients that are versatile, and keep your meals inventive but easy.

Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna from the simply amazing blog "My New Roots."

Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna from the simply amazing blog "My New Roots."

Sure, you could make a healthy butternut lasagna with celeriac noodles and bean bechamel (which looks incredible), but chances are, unless you LOVE cooking, undertaking a big cooking project like this is going to mean a huge grocery trip, some leftover ingredients that you don't know what to do with, and if it doesn't turn out to be amazing then you feel demotivated and like this whole thing is a big waste of time and suddenly there's a pizza in front of you and how did that pizza get here? And now you're experiencing gluten blackouts, which I didn't even know were a thing (they aren't) where you wake up in an alley with a bloody hatchet.  All for some fancy lasagna.  I kinda got off on a tangent, not sure where I wanted to end up, but suddenly I have a hankering for butternut lasagna.

Anyways, my theory is that it is a pain to look up recipes on pinterest every night.  Just have some quality spices on hand, some good oils, some basic ingredients, and go to town.  Unleash your inner creative demons!  It might not always taste like the best thing you've ever eaten, but chances are, unless you were really creative, it will be pretty decent.  Of course, this all depends on what you have decided to cut out.  I have cut out all added sugars (but I am eating fruits).  When it comes to gluten, dairy, red meats, or caffeine, I mostly avoid these on a day to day basis anyways, but will drink green tea, eat some high quality organic cheeses that I got at the farmers market, and while I am not buying gluten, I might eat it if i'm out.  With the exception of no sugar, I'm pretty lax about it this go around, and I have to say that it has worked out really well for me, but other people might prefer for a plan that is a bit more rigid.  

How could you not be a hazelnut fan?

I will note if anything on this list* has either sugar, gluten, caffeine, or dairy, and you can feel free to leave it off if you are trying to eliminate that (most of these ingredients are free from all those.)  Obviously, cross off things that don't appeal to you.  Not a hazelnut fan?  There are plenty of other nuts to choose from.  No need to buy them all, but at least two or three will give you a variety and provide different vitamins and minerals.  A note on organic - I have separated the fruits and veggies by ones you should try to buy organic (found to be high in pesticides), and ones that can be bought non-organic.   Some fruits, mainly the ones that have a skin you peel away (like bananas, avocados), can be bought conventionally grown, but feel free to buy everything organic if you can afford it.  (I always buy organic greens, and mostly buy organic fruit.)  As with everything else, like grains or nuts, organic (and local!) will always be preferred, but remember that this is a guide, so make it work for you and your budget or availability.


Note: Frozen fruits are a great cost saver, and are perfect for smoothies


  • Nectarines 
  • Pears 
  • Peaches 
  • Apples 
  • Cherries (high sugar)
  • Strawberries 
  • Figs (high sugar, very cleansing)
  • Imported Grapes (high sugar)
  • Red Raspberries
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Bell Peppers 
  • Hot Peppers
  • Summer Squash
  • Celery 
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes 
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Dandelion Greens (GREAT for detox, but very bitter - I mix a little in smoothies)
  • Salad Greens
  • Herbs (basil, peppermint, sage, thyme, dill are all great choices)


  • Papaya
  • Pineapples (high sugar)
  • Bananas (high sugar)
  • Kiwi (high sugar)
  • Mangoes (high sugar)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Pomegranates (high sugar)
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges (high sugar)
  • Lemons/Limes (unless you are eating the peel, then buy organic)
  • Cranberries (hard to find organic)
  • Avocados
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Corn (However, almost all corn is genetically modified)
  • Eggplant
  • Onions
  • Sweet Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Mushrooms (some people steer clear of all fungi for cleanses)


Raw and unsalted, if possible

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Brazil nuts (one a day will provide your daily dose of selenium!)
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Pine nuts (great for making pesto)
  • Peanuts (some cleanses eliminate peanuts - I am not, but am trying to pick other nuts first)
  • Nut butters (any of the above - check for no added sugars.)
  • Flax Seeds (ground, store in fridge)
  • Pumpkin Seeds (high in B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and zinc)
  • Hemp Seeds (great source of complete protein)
  • Chia Seeds (high in fiber, calcium, and omega 3s, give you a lot of energy)
  • Sesame Seeds (great garnish - high in many vitamins and minerals)
  • Sunflower Seeds (high in Vitamin E and Folate)


  • Quinoa
  • Polenta
  • Corn Tortillas (or another whole-grain tortilla)
  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Brown or Wild Rice
  • Buckwheat/Kasha (I know it sounds like it isn't, but this is gluten free)
  • Oats (not instant.  Can be processed with gluten - some varieties (like Bob's Red Mill) are available gluten-free)
  • Spelt (has gluten)
  • Freekeh (has gluten.  Not as well known, but a healthy grain with a smoky, nutty flavor that makes a great base)
  • Barley (has gluten)
  • Bulgur (has gluten)
  • Kamut (has gluten)
  • Farro (has gluten)
  • Wheat Berries (have gluten)
  • Wheat Germ (has gluten, high in protein, iron, fiber, and B vitamins)
  • Whole Wheat Pastas (have gluten)
  • Brown Rice Pasta
  • Bean Pastas (These are AMAZING.  I will be posting a review shortly, but these are gluten free pastas that are super high in fiber and protein and made only from beans.  Find them here and here.)


  • Organic, Wild-caught Fish/Shellfish (Here is a great list of fish to consult, ranked by mercury levels, those with an asterisk are endangered and have dwindling numbers)
  • Smoked Salmon (yes, this is technically a fish, but I list it separately because it is so easy to grab and go.  I buy from a local company called The Smokery, who uses wild-caught fish and smokes fresh every week, and you can order it online.  The owner Michael is super-friendly and very knowledgable, and you can absolutely taste the difference between this and other brands.
  • Beans (I like Garbanzo, Pinto, and Black Beans, but any will work)
  • Tempeh (I tend to steer clear of processed soy, but tempeh is less processed and quite delicious, and the fermentation process makes it easy to digest and high in protein.)
  • Edamame
  • High-Quality Cheese (has dairy, goat cheeses are easiest to digest)
  • Organic Greek Yogurt or Kefir (has dairy and sugar)
  • Organic Eggs (local if possible - has dairy)
  • Dairy Milk (has dairy and sugar, goat is easiest to digest)
  • Non-Dairy Milk, like Almond or Coconut (Can have sugar. My advice - avoid fillers and preservatives and make your own)
  • Plant-Based Protein Powders (like hemp, brown rice, or brazil nut powders)

OILS/FATS (Separated by smoke point)

Low/No Heat:

  • Raw Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil (No heat preferred)
  • Hempseed Oil
  • Butter (has dairy)
  • Sesame Oil
  • Macadamia Nut (Refined can withstand higher heats)

High Heat:

  • Refined Coconut Oil
  • Ghee (has dairy - click here for some health benefits)
  • Avocado Oil
  • Walnut Oil (up to medium high heat)
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Refined Almond Oil


Hint: Check for grocery specials and stock up - all spices were 1/2 off last week at my grocery store

  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Nutritional Yeast (gives a cheese-like taste)
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Nutmeg
  • Herb Blends (I buy Spice Islands Rosemary Garlic Blend and put it on EVERYTHING)
  • Exotic Blends (like Moroccan or Indian spices, just a little can totally make a dish memorable)
  • High-quality sea salt (I buy Himalayan Pink salt in bulk from a smaller local store)
  • Digestive seeds (like caraway and fennel)
  • High Quality Vanilla Bean Powder or Extract
  • Flavor Extracts (like these from Raw Food World, the vanilla also makes a great perfume)
  • Stevia
  • Raw Coconut Sugar or Syrup (has sugar, but is a healthy alternative)
  • Raw Cacao powder or nibs (has caffeine - add to smoothies or make some raw chocolate)
  • Yacon Syrup (sweetener that is full of prebiotics, said to aid in weight loss)
  • Vinegars
  • Bragg Liquid Aminos


  • Hummus or Tahini Sauce (TJ's has a great Tahini sauce)
  • Lentil or Bean Dips (just check those ingredients lists)
  • Salsas (check for no added sugars)
  • Mary's Gone Crackers (these gluten free crackers are AMAZING.  I buy in bulk.)
  • Flax Crackers
  • Corn or Veggie Chips (Great for a treat.  Check for baked, not fried ones.  TJ's has a great selection usually.)
  • Sprouts (buy them or make them yourself)
  • Unpasteurized Sauerkraut (Farmhouse Culture has some interesting flavors)
  • Coconut Flour or Nut Flours (if you feel the urge to bake, these can come in handy)
  • Dried Fruits like dates or figs (high in sugar, but makes a great sugar substitute)
  • Exotic dried fruits like Goji Berries, White Mulberries, Goldenberries, Rambutan, Jackfruit, or Barberries
  • Seaweeds like Dulse or Kelp
  • Raw Chocolates or super (like 86%) Dark Chocolate
  • Teas, like Green, Peppermint, and White Tea (I drink this whenever I get a sugar craving. Obvious tip of the day: get decaf if you are avoiding caffeine)


  • Probiotics
  • Omega-3 Supplement
  • Multi-vitamin
  • Seabuckthorn Oil (high in omega-7)
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Moringa Powder
  • Wheatgrass Powder
  • Psyllium Husks/Powder (if things are...erm...stopped up)
  • Chlorella Tablets (great for detoxifying)
  • Spirulina Tablets or Powder
  • Bee Pollen (has small amounts of sugar)
  • Milk Thistle (for detoxifying the liver)
  • Lucuma Powder (has sugar, a low glycemic natural sweetener with a caramel-like flavor)
  • Carob Powder (also known as chocolate's uglier cousin, this has many health benefits, but does not taste like chocolate at all)
  • Maca Powder (said to enhance fertility and balance hormone levels)
  • Acai - Powdered or Frozen (has sugar, excellent source of polyphenols)
  • Mangosteen Extract (source of xanthones, antioxidants, and flavonoids)
  • Noni Powder (loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals)

I tried to make as comprehensive a list as I could, but feel free to add or cross off as you see fit. Regarding the supplements - I personally think they help with the cleanse, but you don't need them.  I definitely don't have all the ones listed, but I would like to try them at some point.  If you pick any, the probiotics, multi-vitamin, and omega-3 supplement are the ones I would recommend the most, followed by chlorella tablets and milk thistle.  


A basic day for me would go like this, and you can check out my Pinterest detox board to find more meal ideas:

Breakfast: Green tea and a green smoothie.  If smoothies aren't your thing, oatmeal would work nicely.

Snack: Nuts or veggies and hummus

Lunch & Dinner: I'll typically have some veggie, either roasted, grilled, or raw along with one of the following:

  • Smoked Salmon with a quinoa tabouli salad, served with some whole grain chips or a tortilla
  • Grain salad (basically start off with any whole grain (I'll usually make a batch and use it over 4-5 days, then add beans, nuts, spices, chopped herbs or veggies, and some oil and vinegar or tahini sauce)
  • Fish or bean tacos on corn tortillas with avocado and salsa
  • Egg scramble
  • Homemade veggie burger with a combination of grains, beans, and herbs

After Dinner:  Small chuck of raw chocolate or decaf Peppermint tea

Hope this helps you plan things out - most of the above meals take about 5-10 minutes to prepare, and the meat-eating, sugar-consuming LOML eats all of these meals happily.  Let me know of any ingredients you would add to the list!

*Any ingredients or brands recommended on this list are brands I have tried and love.  I am not compensated in any way for recommending these products.