Clean Eating Meal Plan: Summer Menu

This family-friendly, two-week healthy meal plan is designed for the spring and summer months and is full of recipes the whole family will love that are easy to make — plus, it comes with a free printable shopping list.

Healthy Meal Plan + Tips

If you want to feed your family well but aren’t sure where to start, this is the post for you. I have a whole foods approach to eating that your whole family will gobble up (with no health food store needed… score).

This meal plan is ideal for families because all of the recipes are beyond simple, the ingredients are easy to find, and your whole family will chow down the meals. If you are new to healthy eating or trying to eat with a focus on whole foods, this a great place to start because the recipes are very traditional while also being simply delicious, if I do say so myself.

I do want to mention that “healthy” is a relative term, and we may not agree on what it means. To me, it’s about balance, eating foods that make you feel good, and not restricting yourself. You can check out my food philosophy here (LINK). 

Healthy Eating Meal Plan: Summer Menu

Let me take the thinking out of feeding your family! This eating clean meal plan is great for busy families who want to eat at home more! You are going to love all of the tried-and-true recipes I’ve been making for my family of seven for years.


Here are 14 breakfast ideas to start your morning off well.

  1. Scrambled Eggs + Muffins 
  2. Whole Wheat Waffles
  3. Breakfast Burritos (with roasted sweet potatoes)
  4. Oatmeal (with frozen berries)
  5. Egg Bake 
  6. Pancakes
  7. Granola + berries + milk (like cold cereal)
  8. Scrambled Eggs + Muffins 
  9. Waffles 
  10. Breakfast Cookies
  11. Oatmeal or Overnight Oats
  12. Egg Bake 
  13. Pancakes
  14. Granola + berries + milk 

Tip: Make a double batch of the waffles and pancakes on the first day, and freeze half for the second time you plan to serve them for breakfast. Thaw in the fridge overnight, and reheat in a toaster. Easy as can be!


Here are some simple lunch ideas for your family that can be made at home or taken on the go to work, school, or the park.

  1. Homemade Lunchables
  2. Quesadillas
  3. Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches
  4. Sandwich on a Stick Lunchbox Ideas
  5. Leftovers
  6. Muffin Tray Meal
  7. Hummus Sandwich
  8. Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

Remember: Don’t overthink lunch! I feel like this should be a fuss-free meal in the day.

I’ve made this EVEN EASIER! Sign up here to get a free PDF printable shopping list for the dinners included in this meal plan.

2 Weeks of Dinners the Whole Family Will Love

Dinner is the hardest meal of the day because everyone’s a little bit tired, and there’s still a lot left to do (homework, sports practice, baths, bedtime, cleanup, etc.). Here’s my easy meal plan that is perfect for summertime dinners that’ll take the stress out of getting the final meal of the day on the table! All of these recipes are made WITHOUT TURNING ON THE OVEN! They are made in the slow cooker, on the grill, or on the stove top. No hot house needed!

Week 1

Day 1: Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork (the BBQ sauce is served as an optional addition at the end)

Day 2: Grilled Salmon Foil Packets 

Day 3: Stovetop Chicken Enchilada Skillet 

Day 4: Garden Veggie Pasta

Day 5: One Pot Sausage Rice and Peas

Day 6: One Pot Farmstand Wonder

Day 7: Leftovers/Eat out

Week 2:

Day 1: 5 Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Legs

Day 2: The BEST chicken tacos

Day 3: Healthy Quinoa Taco Casserole

Day 4: Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagna

Day 5: Shrimp Stir Fry

Day 6: Grilled Sausage and Veggie Foil Packs

Day 7: Leftovers/Eat out

Sides for dinner:

Summer is such an EASY time to get sides for dinner. Serve fresh fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew, peaches, cherries, or berries) just as they are because they are in season and taste great.

Veggie options include corn on the cob, grilled or lightly sauteed zucchini, fresh green beans boiled with onion until tender (it takes a good long while for them to cook, about 40 minutes), simple salads with great dressings, cucumber salads, or just garden cucumbers and tomatoes on a plate with salt and pepper. 

Don’t overthink your sides in the summer, but do plan on them (and add them to your shopping list accordingly). Hit up the roadside stands, your grandpa’s garden, the farmer’s market, or your neighbor. Summer is a great time to eat simple foods just as they are from the earth. Fresh and seasonal produce makes fruits and veggies a treat to add to meals.


If your kids are like mine, I bet they are eating you out of house and home while home from school! 

  • You have lots of snack options that go beyond sliced fruit, vegetables, and string cheese sticks, but don’t discount those simple options, as well.
  • I always keep a veggie box in my fridge. It’s the best thing ever, and makes it way easier to eat veggies regularly!
  • One of my 8 No-Bake Oatmeal Bites are always in my fridge! My kids LOVE these.
  • Smoothies in all shapes and sizes. Just don’t get tricked into using sugar if your recipe calls for yogurt. Read that label!
  • Popcorn… Did you know you can pop it in a brown paper bag in the microwave?
  • Whole Wheat Graham Crackers.
  • Whole Peanuts. Peanuts in the shell are so much more fun to eat if you don’t mind the mess. Trust me.
  • Popsicles. Strawberry banana are a favorite around here. I make a double-batch of smoothies and freeze half in popsicle molds all the time, but you can also try freezing a 100% fruit juice for easy popsicles. Popsicles are the easiest way for my kids to enjoy fruit and hidden veggies.
  • Boiled Eggs.
  • No-Bake Date Balls. The peanut butter and jelly ones are our favorite.
  • I always have a loaf or two of 100% whole wheat bread ready to slice and butter. Just toast a piece and spread peanut butter on it for a really good and filling snack.
  • Healthy No-Bake Cookies.
  • Healthy Snack Bars.
  • Healthy Fruit Dip. This is perfect with apples for some extra protein and fat.

See? Meal planning is easy… Just let me do it for you!

I’ve made this EVEN EASIER! Sign up here to get a free PDF printable shopping list for the dinners included in this meal plan.

Love a summer meal plan? Don’t worry, I have a fall and winter one too! You can find my fall and winter meal plan here.

I hope this free meal plan for families really helps you out, saves you time, and takes some of the thinking out of “what’s for dinner?”!

Subscribers get access to Dinner Made Easy meal plans, exclusive recipes, giveaways, and behind-the-scenes updates​! Sign up for my newsletter or get a new recipe every day.

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38 Recipes for Busy Moms
578 Responses
  1. Hi there! I am a busy mom of 5 kids and was desperately searching the internet today for a healthy meal plan for my family, and came across your site! I am so excited! Can I please have the shopping list for this post? I would REALLY appreciate it!

    1. Melissa

      Looking into it now, I’ve been having some trouble with this for some reason! I’ll let you know when I get it sorted out again in a few hours. Thank you for letting me know!

  2. bakayaroonna

    Wish this was gluten-free as well, then I would definitely try this meal plan. As it is, I would poison myself. I do not have the time nor the funds to test these recipes with alternative ingredients and methods.

  3. Colleen Flanigan

    I love your common sense approach especially about letting your kids be kids and making sure they eat healthy at home and establish good habits but letting them participate with others when they are out. Great job Mom!

  4. Tanya Sims

    I’m going to try this with my family – I agree with you 100%. I try not to have too much junk in our house , don’t buy sodas and sugary snacks as a rule, but give our three boys free rein when they’re out. Thanks for sharing.

  5. veronica

    I completely agree with you it’d about balance I don’t buy my babies any processed food or chips no pop or juices fresh fruits and vegetables I try making everything fresh and I don’t agree with takeout it’s just me. I love your post

  6. Shari

    I’ve been wanting to get my family eating better but we eat so poorly that I was afraid they’d revolt. I’m going to give this a try and see if they even notice. Thank you for sharing all of this and making it sound easy!

  7. Christina

    I have tried 5 of your recipes and my family has loved all of them! Especially the Honey Lime Tilapia. I look forward to trying more of them!! Thanks for sharing your yummy recipes. 🙂

  8. Tiffany

    I love the idea. This is what I try to do at home. I also have four children. I just wish there was a list of things to have in the kitchen on a regular basis.

  9. Therese

    You have a great site and I’m not trying to be a downer but you promote unprocessed clean eating yet the ads that pop up on your blog are for Milano cookies which are highly processed and loaded with sugar and fat.

  10. Kay Trafton

    I am super excited that I was checking out a pin on pinterest (butternut squash lasagna rollups) and I discovered your blog. I would have to say that if I was to write down the things that I try to do with my 2 and 4 year old, it would look a lot like what you do. Yay! You are one of the first bloggers that I have come across that isn’t ALL or NOTHING in whatever they believe. It’s so refreshing! Also, thanks for the honesty. Can’t wait to check out your whole site.

  11. Cheryl

    Thank you for this!!! I have read sooooo many clean eating articles/blog posts that are very strict, and just unattainable for me and my family. I love your 80/20 rule! I think making over the way your family eats is so much easier if it doesn’t feel like an “all or nothing” diet change.

  12. GA.Newbill

    I Love this blog, it states exactly what life is really like and how it can be a process that is do able. Thanks for the insight and blessings you have sent through your dedication.

  13. Sometimes I am really ashamed by myself because I eat a lot of junk food. I work a lot and it is hard to find time to cook and if I do, I just don’t know what to cook. I want to start eat clean and your blog inspired me! Thank you! I will start with this menu right now!

  14. Brenda

    Thank you sooooo much for making your “clean eating” menu without having to shop at the health food store. I appreciate the economy version.

  15. Vanessa K

    Thanks for sharing your guide! I appreciate how real you are. I help a lot of people with their overall health and fitness. I find that most people give up on lifestyle changes in their eating habits because they try to cut out EVERYTHING and then give up when they fail or struggle. Food is meant to be enjoyed, we just need to use wisdom in our choices. I love that 80/20 concept. I believe it’s a plan people can stick to and not feel left out when there is a party or family outing. Thanks again!

  16. Thank you for this. I love your honesty about the 80/20 rule. I’ll be starting HERE with my family. Thank you also for the shopping list- makes it totally do-able!

  17. Cali

    Thank you for your including your reasoning & balance of eating clean/healthy. I have been slowly eatingcooking better & this helps a lot.

  18. ML

    I can’t tell you how excited I was to find this!!! I googled “clean eating weekly menu” and came up with mass recipes that I will never make nor are they close to what we would eat. No whole foods store here for 300 miles! Then I saw pizza, and waffles and food I can get at the local grocery! This is real life that we can go with! I printed the 2 week plan! My goal is just to reduce sugar and add more veggies. Happy Day! Thankful for the time you put into this!

  19. Gypsy

    I usually never comment on anything but after reading this I have to try it. I have been searching pinterst for a plan to start eating healthy/clean but never found one that I thought was doable for the whole family. You have made it easy and practical. I also LOVE your 80/20 approach and your thoughts on birthday cake etc. Thank you so much for putting this together. This is just what I needed to start in getting my family on the right track.

  20. Cherie M.

    I’ve enjoyed your blog posts on many occasions and this one is no exception! Love the 80/20 rule and I am looking forward to utilizing your meal plan! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, it is truly a blessing!

  21. Lauren B

    Thanks for this and your other menu. I want to eat clean, but we are.on a tight budget and can’t only shop at health food stores. This will be more.doable!

  22. Jacquelyn Davis

    Hi Melissa… I am so happy to have found your blog… Wonderful blessing that it is! So much good information and wonderful recipes.. it will take me a bit to take it all in, but I’m beginning! And I would like to comment on something you stated: I’m glad to see that you don’t let people pull you down for your information. As you stated, we are all in our OWN place and do things in our OWN way… this is YOUR way and what works for YOU… and that is all that matters. There is always negative people out there who just don’t get it (ignore in a good way). Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful thoughts, recipes, lists, etc. as you are making a positive difference in so many peoples lives – including mine too now! So thank you!

  23. Linda Porter

    I like your thoughts. I am the same..can’t afford organic and do not shop health food stores. Try to use what’s on hand for my recipes.

    1. The book is new and different (and better in my opinion! I spent almost a year working on it!). So it has like 10 new recipes that aren’t on the blog (a handful are repeaters but good ones) and it comes with all the recipes and the shopping list for the 14 meals plus lots of more. This free meal plan that is just links (you have to collect the recipes yourself if you want them in one place) has it’s own shopping list and you can find it here> : I think you’d love the book, and if you combined it with the free that a month of meals! Enjoy Elsa!

  24. Sandra

    I’m in Australia and just found you on Pinterest. I love your guilt-free approach, it’s so hard not to feel guilty about many things when you are a mother. We eat organically, but have not yet managed to be sugar free. I intend to try your two week menu, and I also would love a copy of your grocery list please. Sandra

      1. marcene grimsley

        I just found you recently on Pinterest. PLEASE DO NOT STOP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING! I have hunted for a source of “clean” recipes. But yours are actually logical and practical for life. My only concern is to find recipes I can make that have no preservatives and would be good for my family! Just good food not freaky food! And that you are a woman of God is super incredible to see! I look forward to trying so many recipes!

        Any in particular your husband particularly adores?

        1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Kind words are so powerful. My husband likes the Steak Carnitas in the slow cooker and he loves anything grilled meat + roasted veggies + some kind of starch (homemade bread, brown rice, potatoes…) He’s pretty easy to please though. I can’t wait to heat what you try!

  25. Cassie

    I would love a grocery list to get started please! I love this post! It is more realistic than a lot of ones I have seen, and it’s applies more to the way I would like me and my family to start eating! Thank you!

  26. Lacey

    I am inspired by you and share many of the same ideals. I’m a little intimidated by making my own flour but am very excited to give this a try. Thank you for posting!

  27. kelsey

    This is excellent I have been trying so hard to turn my families bad eating habits around but it is so hard! I didn’t even know where to begin, I have been trying to lose weight as well and just have come to the point of starvation because everything in my house seems to be a no no. Wou you email me your grocery list as well

  28. DENISE W

    I am very excited to come across your blog. I try real hard to eat healthy and to teach my kids that. However, I have yo-yoed all over the place trying all sorts off healthy cooking (to no avail with my kids!) and I just get flat burned out. I love your 80-20 rule. It makes life so doable. I think I already do that (ok, maybe 70-30!) but feel like it gives me “permissions” to be real, knowing it’s not feasable for me to be perfect! Thank you!

    1. I gave a long answer to this somewhere but I spent about $500 a month on food and household stuff (that includes my soaps and such). That being said we can a lot in the summer and use that all winter and I’m good at buying bulk or when things are on sale and storing it. A big things for us is we raise our own meat now too. So that number is thrown out there but I feel like it’s hard to compare it with other people. Sorry that isn’t much help, but I sure hope you try some of the recipes!

  29. Danielle Hastings

    I loved your heart felt, real, honest to the point blog! Thank you for sharing and put in all the hard work to make it easy for everyone who has read this. I have ate cleaner in the past and it was so worth the reward. It is crazy how well you function and feel when you eat right. I would love to jump in again and make it a life style for my family. I would love your shopping list if you dont mind. My email is

    Thank you so much. Many blessings!!!

    Danielle Lee


        Hi Melissa! Can i get a copy of the list as well? I’m much like you, now I just gotta figure out how to cook like my brain/body wants me to! hahaha, I’m very much a newbie at this whole meal plan thing! Thanks!

  30. meghan bunting

    Would you mind sending me the grocery list, please? Very excited and encouraged by your blog and outlook on eating…I have 2 boys, 25 months and 8 months !! Things are crazy busy but I want to raise my boys to have well rounded attitudes toward food 🙂 thanks

  31. Frances

    Thanks for sharing your life and your perspective on eating clean. I LOVE the fact that you are realistic and honest about “real life”. We try to make healthy choices, and sometimes make exceptions…..and that is perfectly okay! I will enjoy trying out your recipes and meal plans. Thanks again for sharing!

  32. Betty

    Would love you grocery list and yes yes yes I would buy your ebook!! It would be so great to have all this info and recipes at my fingertips while grocery shopping… please let me know ASAP when you have it!!

  33. Ashley

    Thank you so much for putting this together! I bet it was quite an effort and time investment! I have been looking all over for this exact thing and I found it!!! If you do a few more I’ll bet views not just to this page but your whole blog will skyrocket. Moms and busy people are always looking for resources like this and when we find it we share with other busy moms 😉 thank you thank you thank you!!!! May I have a grocery list or offer a suggestion adding it to the blog as it seems a popular request:)

    1. Ashley… seriously great comments. If more people would just tell me what they’d like I’d be a happy woman! Thank you for taking the time to do that. I’ll get right on some of those ideas. Thank you again, it was super helpful feedback! M.

  34. Excellent! I have never seen such a detailed plan anywhere before. You have not only included daily menu but also recipes for each of them. Best part I like is this is clean meal, perfect for health conscious. Worth a try!

  35. lucia

    This is such an amazing post! I have spent literally hours online researching clean eating meal plans and recipies and most of them seem so costly and unrealistic! I love how this post is aimed at the everyday down to earth person who may not have the time, money or facilities to go hardcore…I also love how the key point of the post is just to take steps to eating healthier and can’t understand why anyone would criticise that! Truely great post, thank you!!! 🙂

  36. Sandra

    Hello, new at this clean eating thing and my family and I really need it. I just had a baby and started working out again but I never get the eating clean part so I end up starving myself. Love your blog! It helped me feel better about eating. Could I also get a copy of your grocery list? Thank you

    1. Congrats on the baby Sandra! Food makes the biggest difference for me when it comes to loosing weight! I have to workout a million hours or decide to eat well. I choose eating 🙂 Just mailed you the list!

  37. Tina

    Just found this blog. Trying to start some clean eating in hopes of turning my husband’s health around. I think less processed foods will help him to feel better. Would it be possible for you email me the grocery list for the two week plan? I might not be able to fix some of the foods, because they will be too ‘weird’ for my husband but maybe I can disguise them . . . . . Thank you.

  38. Lauren

    This is amazing!! I’ve been trying to get my husband on the band wagon. Is your e book out yet?! I would love to buy it or be sent your grocery list along with the million others on here too haha keep up the great work! Love your blog!! My email is God bless!

  39. Stacy R

    I just came across your Eating Clean Spring/Summer Menu. The recipes look yummy! Can’t wait to try them. I would appreciate a copy of your grocery list. Do you have a Fall/Winter Menu?

  40. Lauren

    I just happened upon your blog (thank you, Pinterest!) and I just wanted to say how much I love your philosophy regarding food and your kids. I try to follow the same approach because it is really important to me that my kids have a healthy, well-balanced relationship with food. I am so excited to try some of your recipes, thanks for sharing!

  41. justine

    Hi. This is amazing! My mother n law to be and I are doing this pre my wedding. Are we able to get the menu plan? You don’t have a book do you?

  42. Juan Diego

    hey so can you change like eating your recipes for lunch and your lunch for dinner? Because my real problem is eating healthy at lunch 🙁

  43. Liz

    This sounds fabulous! I have some questions, though. My husband is diabetic and can only have 70 grams of sugar per meal. He must take medication before eating as well. Does anyone think he would be ok eating clean following these recipes, or would he be in danger of exceeding the 70 gram per meal limit? Oh, and he is possibly the pickiest eater I have ever met! I would love some opinions and guidance on this if anyone would like to share. My email is Thanks in advance!!

    1. They are pretty hit and miss. Some of the whole wheat pasta and such would still be quite high in sugar because of the carbs but on the steak canrnita night, if you turned it into a salad or something you might be ok. I’d still be careful for sure though, lots of real and clean foods still have plenty of natural sugar and carbs. Good luck Liz!

    1. I think where I get stuck is that I think the food is clean and healthy and so I eat what I want. The truth is though, real clean healthy food still has calories and you can still over eat, even the good stuff. I just have to be careful about portion control when it comes to eating clean I’ll still gain weight if I’m not aware of how many calories I’m taking in. I don’t assume it’s just the fruit though! Hope that helps, good luck Dani!

  44. I love this post! Typically, I despise the term “clean” eating, because it’s an arbitrary phrase that implies that anyone who isn’t eating that way is, by default, “dirty” eating. But, like a lot of other people, I’m trying to transition my family to whole foods and foods with short lists of pronounceable ingredients, so I find this post- and many others on your site- extremely helpful. Thanks!

  45. Judi

    Please send the grocery list for eating clean spring summer menu. I am ready to make changes in my life this will be awesome and fun thank you

  46. Melissa

    Wow! What a beautiful philosophy on eating and life! I don’t normally make comments on blogs, but coming from a family of the off and on diet, I appreciate the balance and wisdom here and wanted to say thank you.

  47. Joey

    Hi, I am from the Philippines and not sure if I can find all the products here in our supermarkets/groceries but still I would like to ask for a copy of the shopping list. I want to try this healthy meal plan for me and my family. Thank you.

  48. Chrissie

    I found this blog via pintrest. Thanks so much!! It’s so refreshing to see a clean eater that thinks balance is the key!!! I’ve felt too much guilt over not being able to eat 100% “clean” and I agree I don’t want kids with food issues, I’ve seen it both in my kids and in my extended family. Also I want my kids to be respectful, if we go somewhere that others eat differently than we do, I don’t want issues. So thanks so much!!! I will be following your blog for sure. Loved your comment about your homemade cookies vs the sugar free jello…a million times yes!!

    1. Such great comments Chrissie! We are kindred spirits and I totally agree… you’ll never be ‘clean’ enough if you start down that path. I was just reading an article about an emerging eating disorder when it comes to limiting so much of ones diet and being obsessed with clean foods. It was so sad. Moderation in all things right?! Thanks for writing, it made my night!

  49. Emily Poole

    I love your attitude! I shut down when reading so many of the whole food/Paleo/Healthy blogs because I too cannot afford to buy that stuff or just plain AM NOT GOING TO EAT IT! This is sensible and REAL! Thank you! Keep up the good work.

  50. Love, Love, LOVE your site. Totally awesome. I love your way of thinking on the 80% clean eating. We have to be realistic. Are you in any type of blogging commenting group? I’d like to make sure I don’t miss your posts. Lisa

  51. Michelle

    We are at the end of week two and I wanted to post an update. With three dinners left to try, I have to say that this has been awesome! My family (which includes a preschooler and toddler) has loved everything so far! Thank you so much!

  52. Stephanie

    Thanks for being REAL. No need to be extreme! I feel like we are kindred spirits. Thanks so much! I saw a lot of people asking for a grocery list. Are you still emailing it out? I would love it too if possible.

  53. Stephanie

    Seriously, great post. Realistic and seems kid friendly. May I please have the grocery list emailed to me also? Thanks a bunch!

  54. Kait Mac

    So looking forward to trying out your meal plan! Love the variety and simple ingredients. Can I get a copy of the shopping list as well please?

  55. Kelly Bruns

    Just found your blog and LOVE it. Can I please get the shopping list for the spring/summer and fall/winter recipes? Thank you thank you!

  56. Jennifer

    I love both your 2 week meal plans. They are realistic for a family of four and I can’t wait to try your recipes. Would it be possible to get the grocery list for both meal plans if you have them available? Thanks!

  57. Jennifer

    Hi Melissa! Thanks so much for the inspiration and motivation to eat clean! The recipes sound delicious and I would love a copy of the shopping list if you get a chance! Thanks so much and God Bless!

  58. Autumn

    Could I get a copy of the grocery list too? I am a momma of two and and now staying at home therefore I really need to budget. I worked out details last night and your meal plan may be the thing to get us started. After all, that is the hard part isnt it? My email is

  59. Lisa

    Melissa this meal plan sounds great and I can’t wait to try it. I am always trying to put healthy meals on the table for my family and these recipes sound quick and easy. Would you please send me the grocery list? Thank you


  60. Patty

    Thank you for all these great ideas and information. I am just learning about eating clean. Can you send me your grocery list too? Thank you!!

  61. Donna Carlton

    Good morning, Melissa! I’ve very excited about starting the Spring/Summer clean eating plan. It looks like the perfect balance in being realistic and being healthy. I need to go grocery shopping, today. Can you please send me the shopping list? Thank you in advance!!!!

  62. Noemi Alberto

    Hello there, I stumble your blog through Pinterest. Looking for weekly meal plan. Yours sound true & real. Speaking from within. I’ll be gladly to be your follower and actually followed you in Instagram.

    I’d like to try the 2 week clean eating plan, would you mind share it the grocery list. Thanks a lot!.. Noemi.

  63. Michelle

    Can I get the grocery list as well please? I’m new to clean eating, healthy eating, and cooking really. Cooking has always been my husband’s thing but due to job changes it has shifted to me. Yikes! I’m loving your page and have shared it three times this morning! Thank you!!

  64. Nancy

    Hi there! The food sounds delish! I appreciate not only the clean eating but also an actual meal plan. Now all I need is the Grocery List!! Would you please share it with me? Thanks so much!


  65. Jennifer Cox

    Hi Melissa,
    Very nice blog and great points about clean eating perspectives. I have a question about your ww overnight pizza dough recipe. Do you think it would still work ok if i didn’t put the sugar in it or does the yeast need some sugar for it to work better?
    I’d love to try it but would rather leave the sugar out if possible.
    Thanks, Jennifer

  66. Kay

    I’ve been an avid athlete for years…..from kickboxing to Pilates. I took the summer “off” to focus on my kids and haven’t been to the gym in 57 days. I feel tired, cranky, and my food intake has been terrible. I just found your blog and I’m ready to print everything and put it in its own binder next to my stove. Would love the grocery list because school is starting soon and I’m ready to get back on the healthy wagon. I’m even having dreams about eating healthy foods, drinking lots of water and doing plenty of squats. Thanks! I love all your knowledge and most especially how you encourage people to do better…cause when you do better you are better. Look forward to going to the grocery store withyour list ! Thanks!

  67. Mara

    Hi there! I have been looking for something like this for months. I am about to start my journey into clean eating with my family of 4. LOVE your philosophy and recipes. Would absolutely love your shopping lists for both plans. I am excited to start ASAP!
    How soon until your Ebook comes out?
    Thanks so much

  68. ivesbell

    This was a great post. It is one of the only time I have read a mom/food blog that makes me feel like I am doing a good job. I also have four kiddos and we can’t afford to buy the food co-op foods but I make almost 100% of our food from scratch. I always read blogs and feel like I can’t live up to the expectations the mom’s put out there. You are an inspiration. Let me know when you write a cookbook with stories about your family and garden and animals, I’d love to have one! Thanks again!

  69. Lindy

    Hi Melissa! Found your clean eating post on pinterest. Am wondering if you ever got your ebook up and ready and where Id be able to purchase it? I am keen on having all these recipes in one spot! Im loving your ideas, the foods look amazing! Im on a clean eating plan now and am desperate need of variety for myself and my four kids! Thank you so much for sharing this! Its amazing 🙂


    1. Deanna

      Hi Melissa
      I just found your blog and I am extremely intrigued. I have been looking for Something fast and easy to get my family on the right track. This looks fantastic. Could you please send me a grocery list so we can get started right away.
      Thank you so much for doing what you do!
      Dallas Tx

  70. Jamie

    Hi Melissa,

    I love your approach and this is something that is manageable for my family. I love the 80/20 rule, and agree in not restricting my children when they are out. My goal is to teach them to make sensible food choices and thus not create any food issues. Job well done and I would love your 2 week grocery list!

    Thanks for the love,

  71. This is fantastic, honestly! So refreshing to read, no fads, and unrealistic lifestyle changes. It makes my heart sing as I finally feel like it something I can achieve. I have always yo-yoed with my diet/weight because as soon as I stop eating the ‘fad diet’ it inevitably all piles back on plus more. The only time it works is when I make natural choices and changes to my lifestyle which only makes me feel better about everything rather than deprived.

  72. thank you SO much for sharing all of this!! your approach is much like ours — we eat the best we can (especially in our home), but our children are still allowed to have the yummy crappy stuff occasionally 😉 i’m excited to try out these recipes. they look GREAT!!

  73. Cassie

    A grocery list would be so awesome! I’m very new to clean eating of any variety, I cannot afford organic as a single mom of 3 and we live in Alaska so food in general is expensive. I’m looking forward to planting a garden of my own and canning my excess in the future, might even get ambitious and try chickens?? I’m very excited to try this not just for me but with my kids as well… Thank you!!!

  74. CMac

    Could you please send me your grocery list? I just got back from vacation and am in desperate need of some clean eating!!! Thanks.

  75. CMac

    May I please have a copy of your grocery list? I just got back from vacation, and am in desperate need of some clean eating!!! Thanks.

  76. Helen Schwartz

    I would love a grocery list as well. I went shopping today and used another site’s grocery list and recipes for this week because I didn’t have yours, but I hope to use a lot of this same food on your recipes. Thanks.

  77. Sara Ross

    So I went to the grocery store and just got stuff for the first week trying this…and it cost $170! I’m only feeding myself and my husband and that seems ridiculous to pay that much! How much on average do you spend a week on food for your family using this meal plan? I’m just curious to see if there is anything I can do to help bring down the costs.


    1. I spend $500-$600 a month on everything “household” including food (that my soaps for dishes and laundry, any paper goods, and most other things get lumped into that). So that would put you at about $250 for the two weeks, so maybe $100 a week for just the food? We rarely eat out, so that saves a bunch of money but that also means that I’m serving 3 square meals a day. It’s also a little bias because I have a huge garden and I can a lot. I never buy tomatoes but use them a lot (I have them on the shelf from last year’s garden!) and I grind my own wheat berries for flour… and on the opposite end I live in a tiny town and the food prices are quiet high. I don’t shop around or “hit the sales” because there aren’t any sales really and there is only one store. So I think in the end it all comes out in the wash. I also keep a well stocked pantry though. I buy grains and things in bulk and store them in 5 gallon buckets with lids. I think with just 2 people you’ll also realize that you probably bought more like 3 weeks worth of food if not more. You’ll have lots of leftovers and can probably make the recipe and stick half in the freezer for next month. I have 4 kids and I’ve had at least one sibling living with us for the last 16 months, so the recipes are family portioned. My friend Cassie (who eats really really well) spends $800 a month on her and her husband. Her post on it was really interesting. You might want to check it out too.

      Hope that helps! Once you get into the groove of it I think you’d spend less. Let me know what you think!

  78. Salina

    Hi, I am really looking into trying to cook clean meals my whole family might enjoy and would love to try this plan. Will you please send me the grocery list. Thanks for putting this together.

  79. Judy

    I’m looking forward to trying your recipes…well said about 80/20 rule I use it in my life. If you are emailing a grocery list please add me to your list.

  80. Catherine Herve

    Hello Melissa I would love a shopping list and have you done an Ebola yet? All the best Catherine near Stonehenge UK

  81. Marian

    Thank you so much for a down-to-earth, basic plan that a regular mom like me can truly attain…without a degree in nutrition or a health food store. You have made clean eating a real possibility for me, rather than a pie-in-the-sky dream!

  82. Lyndsey Claybrook

    Awesome site! I have trying, unsuccessfully, to get my kids on board with healthy eating. This will be a great way to start! Thanks so much for this! ALS o could I have a copy of the grocery list, too? Thanks!

    1. Just sent it! And I’m almost done with an ebook on this idea but geared more towards families. I have 4 kids that do well and it’s our favorite healhty/cleaned up recipes. Check back in a few weeks and it should be available!

  83. Hi! I love you’re meal plan idea as well as the blog! I’ve been having the hardest time coming up with a clean meal plan for my family and this is perfect. So THANK YOU!! Is there anyway you could email me the grocery list for this as well, please? Thanks!—

  84. Nikki

    Hi, Melissa! Love your food philosophy! This is the first clean-eating meal plan I think I can realistically use with my family. Thank you, thank you! When you get a chance, could you please send me a copy of your shopping list as well? I can’t wait to go to the grocery store this weekend and get started! 🙂

  85. Shelly

    Hey Melissa – we are going to try your plan – I love that it is more realistic than most. Can you please email me the shopping list as well? Just also subscribed to your fb page!

  86. Laura

    I am so enjoying reading your clean eating methods. I love the 80/20 principle! So excited to try some new recipes! I would absolutely love the shopping list 🙂

  87. oneida juarez

    just gotta say I have read probably thousands of blogs on healthy eating, and this seams to be the most realistic one out there. We are not all city folk or health nuts. we just want to make better choices for our families that wont break the bank. I love your way of thinking and am so grateful that you put this out for all to enjoy……thanks love

  88. Tabitha

    Can you please send me the grocery list. Do you have an email that I can send or can you see mine? I don’t like posting it. Thanks!

  89. Vanessa

    I want affirm you!!! I resonate with your philosophy on 80/20, letting kids be kids outside the home with random snacks I won’t necessarily carry in the house and I’m not going to go into debt for organic. I avoid any artificial sweeteners and rather have real butter or coconut oil instead melted plastic. Thank you! I’ll be back.

  90. Kate Page

    Can I I bother you for a grocery list please. ?. Maybe to both plans. ? I appreciate this more than you know. It is such s blessing that you share all of this. I would buy your book in a heart beat. Email . Thank you so much

  91. Kelley

    Thanks for the blot post!! Great for my family– trying to be clean without being neurotic about it; enjoying healthy food without fearing the other stuff; being healthy and budget friendly at the same time- all the good stuff!! We appreciate it! You may also consider a sequel e-book that’s the A-Zs (if you will) for starting your own garden, particularly for those without a ton of space or money. Anyway, thanks again!!

  92. dana

    How would you edit some of these meals for a single person? I’ve tried to eat clean repeatedly but it’s hard when i’m the only one eating the meals. i’m a single college student who is really trying to get healthy!

    1. Eleanor Carlisle

      left overs are your friends dana! plan so you preparefor 2 meals or at least part of the meal can be adapted for a second meal. So if you are cooking sweet potatoes make enough to mash for a veggie burger for the next day. It will stand you in good stead for family life as well when prepreparing is the only thing between you and a takeaway sometimes!

  93. amanda

    Thank you, Pinterest for leading me to this blog! I LOVE that you not only write down what to eat for dinner, but include SIDES! EVERYONE forgets the sides and sometimes, I am just not creative enough to think of something. I have pinned both spring/summer and fall/winter editions! Thank you for being budget and family friendly! You rock 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Amanda. I was just reading a thread about how horrible I am because it’s not grain, dairy, and everything else free. You just made my day and helped me to remember that not everyone wants to give up everything but kale in the name of health. I needed your comment today 🙂

      1. Amanda

        No problem. I cannot imagine some of the comments. Unnecessary, in my thoughts. I make everything peanut/tree nut free bc my sister is allergic. I don’t email everyone or comment on blogs that use peanut ingredients-I simply make it my own without it. BOOM. People need to appreciate your help more than bash it. Have a great rest of the day, Melissa!

        1. Eleanor Carlisle

          Good attitude Amanda. Melissa, thank you for this, I adapt it to Scottish seasonal food but my 1 yr old eats everything I give him from this and my husband too (and soldiers are hard to please when it comes to healthy food!). I totally agree with the 80/20 principal, we have lived with it for a few yrs now, no sugar, alcohol and little refined flour in the week and much more relaxed at the weekend but being realistic as we both work and I study too.
          I want my son to know the joy that is great cake as well as the excitement of in season strawberries and peas – and so far he loves all of those!

  94. Love your blog and the yummy recipes! My family is much like yours, we love to eat clean but we are also realistic and enjoy (unfortunately) sugary treats. We also live in the middle of no where and are on a budget, but we found a great website called and it is all non-GMO foods that are much cheaper than retail in the health foods store. Just thought I would share! Thanks again for the recipes!

    1. Thanks Kelli! That site is great, it was new to me, but the prices seem really great, especially on the nuts. Looking forward to looking more into it!

  95. Kate

    I love this meal plan, my kids (3 and 6) will definitely eat this kind of clean dinners. Thanks so much for posting. I can i get a grocery list for this.

  96. abigail

    Do you have a shopping list that includes all the ingrediants you will need for the 2 weeks clean eating spring/summer

  97. Sarah Bavington-Smith

    This looks fab. So hard to get my family to eat healthily. If the kids will eat it then the other half won’t and vice versa. I would also love an email with a shopping list. Thank you xxx

  98. Teresa Rodriguez

    Thank you, Melissa-what a super caring person you are! This is exactly what I was searching for “Eating Clean”.
    I feel I have found a gold mine and I can’t wait to “eat clean” for the next 2 weeks-the recipes look delicious.
    God bless you and ‘this mess”.

  99. Karen

    This blog and recipe list is awesome! Thank you! It’s exactly what my family has been looking for. My husband and I are using Advocare products, and this will be a great addition. Also, will you please send me a recipe list? Will any of these recipes freeze well? or make ahead well? I too would love an ebook recipe book. I’m so busy and have a hard time priniting each recipe. I’m interested in the fall winter plan too. Thanks!!! 🙂 God Bless!

  100. Sarah

    What’s your approximate budget for this plan? I’m always looking for (mostly) real food meal plans as I get burnt out planning every meal. Thank you so much for doing this! It’s so nice to have it done for me already. (If you’ve put together a grocery list I’d love a copy, too.)

    1. It’s right at $500 a month (but that is everything in my household category). I wrote a lot about it in the comments so if you scroll down you will find the details on what I spend. Also that shopping list IS DONE!!! I’ll email it to you right now. Thanks Sarah!

      1. Wendy Thornley

        This all sounds wonderful. Thank you for all the “research” and time with your family figuring this out. I would love to receive the shopping list as well.

          1. Teresa Rodriguez

            So sorry to bother you again=I did not receive the grocery list-could you resend it? Thank you so much!

  101. Chrissie Klinger

    I love your definition of clean eating and agree with it 100 percent! I am looking forward to making some if these awesome recipes.

  102. Belinda

    I just had to brag on you.. I have been meaning to try the pizza recipe but keep forgetting that I have to prepare the dough 24 hrs in advance.. But I finally remembered to do so yesterday. I made two pizzas out of it.. One cheese thin pizza — baked on an upside down cookie sheet and the other I made in my cast iron skillet (thick crust– rolled out on foil then turned over in the skillet and folded down excess and tapped with a fork.. Loaded with tons of veggies.. I cooked it at 400 for 20 mins .. They were a huge hit!!
    The kids loved theirs and we loved ours!! We will never buy another pizza — I even used your recipe for the pizza sauce.. So great! 

  103. Sara Metzger

    I can’t wait to try your menu! Your approach seems exactly what I’ve been looking for, and I really appreciate your candor and humor. Will let you know how it goes!

  104. Nicole

    I love your philosophy. It’s realistic and teaches children the importance of moderation. Putting foods on the “no-no” list creates rules that are meant to be (and will be) broken…which then creates the “guilt cycle” of eating that so many of us struggle with.

  105. Caitlin

    I’m a college student and I had an “Aha!” moment when I saw this. I’m really sick of greasy, tasteless, unhealthy cafeteria food. I just moved into my apartment and now I have a functional kitchen, but I don’t know how to fill it up with healthy and yummy food quite yet. I would love to have a grocery list, if that isn’t too much to ask. Also, my boyfriend is a very picky eater and isn’t big on fruits and veggies. Do you have any tips on sneaking them into some foods? I look forward to your email. Thank you so much! (:

    1. Smoothies!! I have a good, better, and best smoothie post (you can find it on the sidebar) and it is a great place to start. Let me know if you need a link!

  106. Dianne

    Like so many others have said, I am encouraged by your plan and life philosophy also. My 19 year old daughter has encouraged me to join her and eat cleaner food. At 51, I have spend the past 20 years cooking for so many others’ tastes and preferences, I now need to focus on my health! Thank you for your post, we are off to grocery shop and get started today. After this 2 week plan, we are moving on to your original post. I would also like the grocery list if one is available!

  107. Amanda leopin

    Thank you so much for this post ! I love how you don’t bring JUNK FOOD in your house but let the kids have them occasionally else where and birthdays and such ! Awesome work . You look amazing !!!

  108. Susan W

    Love your blog; thanks for the recipes! I found you via Pinterest…Applause to you for healthy eating and buying local foods. “Refined” (not “refind”) flour is a spelling correction that needs attention.

  109. Kelly

    This was a very good read. All of this is very new to me but I’m excited about giving it a try. Could you please email me your grocery list as well?

  110. Pamela

    I’m sooo glad to have found this. I have been wanting to “do” the clean eating “thing” and I was simply overwhelmed by all I have researched. Thank you for making it real!!

  111. Shelaine

    Can’t wait to try these. I also try to live by the 80/20 philosophy. I have accepted it is ok for me not to like KALE and I can still be healthy!

  112. Erin

    I just stumbled upon your blog, and I am very impressed with your efforts to be self-sustaining and to eat clean. I really like your idea of 80/20, and I will be incorporating it in our home. We are in the market to buy a home soon, and I would love to have a hobby farm as well. Thanks for sharing!

  113. Nicole

    Thank you for sharing your take on cleaning eating. Some things that have been a huge turn off for me are the cost and the idea of all or nothing. The cost is a huge one. I live in a small town with limited options. I can’t find fancy grains and all organic stuff, nor can I afford it. I like the idea of we all do what we can in the stage of life we are in. We need to support one another, not tear each other down because we think we are superior because of our eating standards. I love your positive outlook on this. Also, my husband and son are resistant to the idea, so I never really started, but I think I don’t have to dive totally in before I know how to swim. Looking over your recipes, I have decided to re-evaluate mine and keep the ones that fall in line with how I view clean eating for my family, then slowly add new ones to see what they think. 80/20 is a fantastic idea. My biggest downfall is I LOVE to bake. My favorite is pecan rolls and baguettes. All that sugar and white flour. But I agree with you, I would take that stuff homemade with ingredients I trust over processed foods. Thanks again for this post. It was just what I was looking for when searching cleaning eating!!!

  114. Melissa, I just found your blog through Pinterest and feel I’ve found a kindred spirit. I subscribe to the 80/20 principle as well. I make as much of our food as I can myself – no processed or frozen, pre-packaged foods for us except as an occasional treat. I’m actually proud of the fact that my teenagers think of what a lot of their friends eat on a regular basis, as “treats” – frozen pizza, hot pockets, etc. We don’t live on enough land to even have laying hens, but I would if I could. Thanks so much for sharing! I look forward to visiting often.

  115. Brooke

    80/20: Love it! It’s exactly the same way we try to eat! I don’t want my kids to grow up feeling deprived and then binge when they’re old enough to get the junky stuff (read: it happened to me). Everything in moderation and keep those veggies coming! Great work, keep it going!

  116. kelly

    I am VERY new to the idea of clean eating so I have a question…. how is bread/pasta/flour and dairy clean? I would assume that organic meat/eggs and produce would be all that’s allowed since breads and dairy are processed.

    1. Kelly- when I started figuring out what “eating clean” was like 3 years ago it was a totally different thing. I think anything that is not processed, no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, sweetners… is clean. Today everything is almost “Paleo” when it’s clean. Do what you can girl, but if you are looking for grain and dairy free then I’m not your girl. I need homemade bread and good cheese in my life 🙂 Good luck in your journey friend!

  117. Laura

    Just found you through pinterest and I super excited to give this a try. I feel like we are on the same page with our thoughts on eating clean. I’m excited to have some new recipes to try. Thanks for both of your posts. ☺

  118. keisha

    I love your philosophy. Some people go overboard and its just not practical for most families. Sounds like you are doing a great job. I’m lucky to cook some nights so growing your own meat is heads above most of us. Good luck and thanks for sharing.

  119. Grace

    I absolutely loved this post. I’m a recent college grad who just officially move out on her own. My interest in eating healthy is a result of my desperation to find an ease to both my crazy digestive system and my bad skin. I have a love for herbal medicine for preventative measures.

    I can honestly say that I live by your 80/20 rule. I do my best when I can, but what’s most efficient and convenient usually takes precedence. I try to do my best with organic and local and I don’t EVER buy GMO.
    I’m also only 22 and will not restrict myself in a social setting. Obviously always looking for the best option,(and to be honest I’ve been doing that more subconsciously lately) but I never refrain from living and enjoying.

    I want to teach my children that someday, too. Like you said, everything with a balance. Love your blog, keep doing what you’re doing!

  120. Krista

    Thank you, thank you thank you for posting this! I am new to clean eating (as well as starting/managing a family) and this post is very helpful and informative. I look forward to reading more of your blog & recipes. Can I please have the grocery list for this & your Fall/Winter plan if available? Thank you!

  121. Barbara

    Thank you for sharing! These recipes look great and my new years resolution was to try to eat clean without being crazy about it. I love your philosophy 🙂

  122. Emily Reynolds

    What a pleasant surprise! I saw this post on Pinterest and just pulled it up while doing my menu planning. And couldn’t believe what adorable person I saw on the right side of the page! It’s been a very long time, but glad to see life is treating you well!! Love this blog and can’t wait to add your blog to my regular stops! xoxo- Emily (Ingram)

  123. DJade

    If you don’t mind me asking how many people are you shopping for and how much do you typically spend for two weeks worth of clean groceries? By the way, I LOVE your blog. It’s adorable and is very helpful for those just starting out.

  124. alison

    Thank you so much for sharing! Just tried Paleo and it was next to impossible. It was definitely an eye opening experience, and I am ready to change my eating habits, but going to such an extreme with Paleo just don’t seem like the right way to go about it. Clean eating and this plan specifically seems more of a lifestyle change vs a 30 day crash diet. Thank you again! If you have a grocery list I’d love a copy! I’ll absolutely be sharing this with friends and fam! Great job and again thank you!

  125. Patricia Aquino

    Thanks to Pinterest I stumbled on your blog. I just started a business 2 weeks ago called Clean Bites and like you I promote clean and practical eating. I make meals for my customers who do not have the time to make clean meals. I don’t shop at health food stores either . I make everything from scratch if possible. The meals you share here is a big help in my meal planning.

  126. Kaela

    I just wanted to say thank you for the awesome ideas, I will be making more then a few of these recipes! Secondly, it is mind blowing that people feel the need to send you nasty comments regarding the clean eating part of your post. Whoooooooo gives a shit. Pardon my language 😉 if you don’t like the ideas she has, then move on with your rude self. Your intent I am sure is to help those who need it and give a few of your ideas. What is wrong with that? Keep going girl, thanks for the recipes!

  127. Dana Irwin

    Great meal plan. Can’t wait to try it! Would you mind also emailing me your grocery list? goddelights @ gmail dot com

  128. Emily

    I absolutely love your philosophy on food. I agree with everything here, and it’s nice to see it in words by some one else- I’m far too much of a mess myself to have written it out so perfectly! (we certainly share a fear of “fat free” foods and artificial sweeteners!) Thank you for all the fantastic looking recipes that i absolutely cannot wait to try! I have been meaning to try a clean meal plan and you have so kindly laid it out for all.

  129. wanda teeter

    I would love a list of shopping items. New to this, and going to try to get my family into it. DM has food intolerance’s. Thanks much!

  130. Laura

    LOVE this! Started out looking to incorporate more veggies and have started moving toward clean eating/real food. Have got my husband on board with the theory, now to get him to stop buying junk food when I don’t!

  131. Rita

    Hi I saw your 2 weeks clean eating plan. And I find it interesting. Can I have you a copy of the grocery list pls? I am new to all this and I need some guidance to start cos I am so clueless. I want to start eating clean and staying healthy. My email address is And thank you for your time, hard work and for posting to help people like me eat clean.

  132. Melissa

    I’m excited to find this on pinterest today. I have been feeling like my family needs to eat healthier for so long and I’ve been scared to try. My husband and I have four children, two boys, two girls. The boys both have autism- one very high functioning and one low functioning. The behaviors are what get us, and I hear just cutting out all the junk really helps with that. So, I’m going to be a copy cat and go by your guidelines above to really get us started. I’m going to do my very best to get us started and ignore the comments of “its all or nothing” I’ve heard for years. Its intimidating to think my kids can never have certain things again- I don’t know how I would make it work, but for now, your ideas are way less scary. Thanks!

  133. Ruth Lake

    Thanks so much for all your suggestions and encouragement, for a beginner at eating clean. Three months in and I am a little weary. Your blog really gave me a pick up and offered hope.


    Thank you for sharing. We raise pigs, rabbits, and even had two emu we raised and butchered up. Raising your own meat is great and taste so much better than store bought. Can’t wait to get chickens.

  135. I’m so excited to find this!

    However, I was wondering if there was a good shopping list for all this? I want to try it, and would be fine with searching through to find all the ingredients needed, but calculations are hard and it would be a ton of tabs.
    Also, it’s cooking for just me and me alone, so if you had a shopping list, that would be amazing!

  136. You might want to read the Wheat Belly Cookbook, it seems that whole wheat is not as good as we all thought. Will try some of your recipes that are wheat free though. Thanks for sharing.

  137. Sandy hasara

    I can’t wait to try all of your recipes and believe me that even at the age of 57 you CAN teach an old girl new tricks! I’ve always wanted to try clean cooking and now here’s my chance! Thanks for all of your hard work of putting together these recipes for all to consume and enjoy!

  138. Jennifer

    I can’t begin to emphasize how much I adore you and love your blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to type this out for other mommies who want to feed their families whole, natural, and yummy meals. I know I really appreciate it!! Take Care and God Bless!

  139. Janine Wolhuter

    Hi Melissa,

    Just popping in to say how much I love your blog. I have tried some of your receipes and they are great. Sometimes I have to ‘google’ something to know what it means because I live in South Africa and we use different words to describe things. For exapmle ‘Zucchini’ is called ‘baby marrow’ here. But just love the fact that we are such a ‘global villiage’ now and inspiration can come from someone who lives thousands of kilometres away and across the ocean!

    God bless.


    1. Melissa

      Janine! Your comment totally made my day… I called my husband just to tell him about it! Thanks so much for taking the time and being a friend 🙂

      1. Jennifer Dean

        Just came across your blog and wanting to get into eating clean and would love also to have the grocery list emailed. Thank you for putting this all out there!

  140. Shirley

    So excited I found your page!!-Thanks to pinterest!! My husband and I try to eat healthy but it’s drives my boys nuts (13 & 15.) I can’t wait to try your recipes! I’m always looking for good practical recipes! We live in western KS so not many health stores and what we do have is very expensive!!

  141. Anne

    There is no way eating clean involves eating any form of product that comes from an animal!!!!!!! Check out Dr Michael Greger clearly explains, with scientific research to back him up all the way, in his talk ‘Uprooting the leading causes of Death’, that eating animals or their by products are not only unnecessary but harmful! Thank you 🙂

  142. Melissa

    Thanks for having a “what works for you” approach. I feel like people get so wrapped up in what they believe about food that reading posts like this is often unpleasant but yours is realistic and welcoming. Its nice to find blogs like this.

  143. Hiedi Gunville

    I am so happy I found this! Easy and budget friendly recipes that my whole family can enjoy. I think I would always tend to “cheat” a little bit because my three year old is ridiculously picky but these recipes are definitely something that I can tweak just a little for my little one and keep it clean for me & my hubby! Thank you!!! Do you have a fall/winter meal plan??

  144. Rena Scott-Pruitt

    Hey, I just found your blog via Pinterest and it really intreages me. My son was diagnosed with type one diabetes last year and I am always looking for a better way to feed my family. I love your 80/20 philosophy because even with a diabetic baby( well he’ll be 3 next month but still my baby lol) there is really no way to keep all processed foods and sugars out of our lives.

  145. lori baldwin

    I am looking for something other than sugar to cook with. I have tried Agave and Coconut sugar.
    But, it doesn’t set things like cookies and Brittles like regular sugar does. Any suggestions?

    1. Melissa

      When it comes to candy making I’ve seen a few recipe for maple and honey candy that use those things but I think most recipes just won’t work without traditional granulated sugar. As far as cookies go I’ve tried a few recipes with honey in them and they were ok… you’ll have to look around! Or just save cookies and candy for a special treat 🙂

  146. I appreciate all the effort that you shared with us. Hard to imagine people wasting time leaving rude comments. If I disagree with blogs, I just close the browser and move on. Keep on doing your good work and know many are thankful for your gift

  147. Kristy Lynne

    Thank you so much for your post. I love the 80/20 rule as well as your meal plans and recipes.

    For my family this is something that can be totally attainable. Kudos to those that can go hardcore on 100%. I just know that this will work for my family much better than trying to go cold turkey. Life with a two year old doesn’t always go according to schedule. I need backup meals and snacks ready.

    I’m so excited to start this. Thanks again and happy 2014!

  148. Mindy

    A woman after my own heart! I don’t do well with tons of rules and can’t do this scenarios. I feel like those things make me destined for failure or feeling bad about myself. I am excited to try your plan AND eat real cake on my birthday!

  149. Sara Firrest

    What is your weekly or biweekly budget? 80/20 fits my family to a T. I love this blog. Aksi did you ever get the grocery list done?

    1. Melissa

      Great idea! We love fish but have access to so little in the middle of the dessert… I’d buy some at Costco but we are a full 2 hours from any kind of large grocery store and I get nervous about packing fish that far out of the refrigeration. Everyone else… BUY FISH 🙂

  150. Cassie

    Thank you thank you thank you for these meal plans! I love that you plan healthy meals, and I love the 80/20 rule. I think that’s something I can do! This is a great start to eating clean; something I have wanted to do, but haven’t felt like I could go all out (plus, I live in a small town and it is next to impossible to buy organic produce…not to mention terribly expensive!) Thank you for these meal ideas and encouraging posts!

    1. Melissa

      We are so in the same boat! I can’t even buy cilantro in our store and there is zero organic anything… that’s why we garden and I can lots of our own stuff! You just have to do the best you can where you are and it sounds like you are doing just that! Thanks so much for the kind comment, it made my morning!

  151. Brooke

    Love your philosophy. I do try to buy organic (especially with the recommended produce, meat and dairy). However, I think your 80/20 philosophy is totally doable and more flexible – which usually means people can stick to it better. I’m not looking for fads, I’m looking for a lifestyle change. This works. I’m on board with the ebook idea. 🙂

  152. Summer

    Thank you for this post! I am almost 8 months pregnant and I never cook! The thought of raising my kid on McDonald’s and frozen dinners (as I was) scares me and I have began researching easy clean food. I’m not a cook so complicated instructions and ridiculously long lists of ingredients immediately make me shut down. Your recipes are nice and easy to follow! I cannot wait to begin trying these and sharing with my husband!

  153. Tamara

    I love your 80/20 approach!! It is absolutely impossible to have a child and not allow for junk. Thank you soooo much for your post!!!

  154. Amy

    I really like your approach to eating healthy with kids. My dad decided I needed to lose weight when I was a kid and he refused to buy peanut butter. So now to this day I look to peanut butter for comfort and feel a tad panicked when I don’t have any in the house. I won’t get started on the host of other food issues I have but I know when they developed. So thank you for sharing how you balance and shape healthy eating habits.

  155. I’ve eaten like this my whole life. You won’t be sorry. BUT I wish they would stop calling it ‘clean eating’ as if the other were dirty? And truth be told, most people won’t make 1 week let alone an entire lifetime. It takes dedication, planning and home cooking.

  156. Love your blog. Found it on Pinterest when looking for clean eating recipes. I also have a lot of game meat in my freezer and plan on trying your chili recipe. Im super excited I found your site.

    1. Melissa

      Woohoo for game meat! If the recipe calls for any type of beef (ground or steak) on my blog from the last 2 years then I made it with game… I just don’t call for it because it’s not common. So there should be some other recipes for you too. We love our elk 🙂 So glad you stopped in!

  157. Monica L.

    Hi Melissa. I’m loving your philosophy on “clean” eating. Your 100% whole wheat bread link seems to be broken. I would like to start grinding my own flour and making bread at home. Is this the recipe you always use? Do you have a link? Thanks!

  158. Emily

    Great post. As a full time working mom I try to do the best i can. I like your 80/20 rule. that is about where we are most of the time. Some time the ratio is higher on the not so good end but that is okay. If it isn’t in the house the kids dont ask for it nor to they realize they are missing anything. My freezer is my friend–along with the garden, grandmas’ apple trees, and the farmers market. Can’t wait to try some of your recipes.

    1. Melissa

      No… it’s not something I’ve done. It’s a hard on for me because I can a lot and and try to have lots of stuff in my freezer from sales or from my garden! I might make a list one day though and if I do I’ll email you!

  159. Thank you and congratulations on the pregnancy. It wasn’t to much info at all. Its actually perfect. With 6 of us and a budget of $600 a month this fits perfect. I too include all my cleaing supplies in my “food” budget. Can’t wait to see your Fall/Winter menu. 🙂

  160. This post is amazing. We are a family of six with 2 picky eaters in the family. I’m sure that we could get them to eat most of these foods. I just have one question for you. What is the average food bill for the two weeks? I’d love to purchase the meal plans but want to make sure it fits into our budget first.

    1. Melissa

      I spend about $500 a month on everything “household” including food (that my soaps for dishes and laundry, any paper goods, and most other things get lumped into that). So that would put you at about $250 for the two weeks, so maybe $100 a week for just the food? We rarely eat out, so that saves a bunch of money but that also means that I’m serving 3 square meals a day. My husband works at home so he eats all meals with us and my 19 year old brother is living with us too… so really I’m feeding 3 adults (and I’m pregnant so I eat plenty) and three children 42 meals in that 2 weeks. That puts me at about $6 a meal which is only a dollar a person per meal for real food! And that isn’t even quiet right because I still make snacks, treats, and have all the living expenses tied in. It’s also a little bias because I have a huge garden and I can a lot. I never buy tomatoes but use them a lot (I have them on the shelf from last year’s garden!) and I grind my own wheat berries for flour… and on the opposite end I live in a tiny town and the food prices are quiet high. I don’t shop around or “hit the sales” because there aren’t any sales really and theirs only one store. So I think in the end it all comes out in the wash. What do you think? Was too much info 🙂 Thanks for asking though, it was great to hear from you!

  161. Sarah Katz

    Thank you for all your hard work and vulnerability in putting this together and making it available to strangers on the web out of the goodness of your heart!! Thanks also for bringing grace and a budget friendly perspective to clean eating. Really appreciate! (Got here from your first post, via pinterest. =)

  162. Heidi

    I really appreciate this idea of clean eating. I have thought others are just too time consuming, costly, and not practical for my family. But thinking old fashion the way grandma used to cook I can do! Thank you

  163. Amanda Troyer

    Should be called “common sense” right? Thanks for the post! I’m so tired of seeing people be so insanely strict about some things, you definitely have I right IMO. Balance and moderation!

  164. Hannah

    Super post. Love the balance between green smoothies and ring pops 🙂 all things in moderation. In trying to become more intentional with my family’s eating habits, I’m really trying to find a good substitute for processed flour and you mentioned a wheat grinder. Any particular brand you would recommend? Thanks again for the post!

  165. Charity

    I have three young daughters. Before I was a mother I didn’t think much about the foods I put in my body. I never knew there were so many chemicals in foods. It scares me!!! So over the past year I have been trying to get my family on a more “clean” diet. I just found your blog today and I’m hooked. I love that you are so “real” about foods your family eats. My mind set is the same as yours and now that I found your blog I have motivation to stick with clean eating. We are on a very tight budget and its crappy that the foods I want to feed my family tend to be more expensive. We do have our own garden but this is the first year and we are still learning! So anyway thanks for your blog and for being real about life!!! Sorry for the long rambling comment 🙂

  166. Kelly

    Thank you so much for the recipes!! I’ve been eating clean for about 2 months and am trying to integrate more into my kids’ diet as well. Thanks for being real and using real ingredients!

  167. Courtney H.

    I am really enjoying your menu so far! We’ve had the tetrazzini and the stir fry, and both were delicious. I needed help incorporating more vegetables and whole grains into our meals, and your recipes do just that! I can’t wait to try more…whole wheat pizza is on the menu for tonight! 🙂

    1. Melissa

      It’s so ridiculously rewarding to hear you are using the recipe and the meal plan!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and happy eating 🙂

  168. Alyssa

    You are exactly what I have been looking for! Someone who gets how I feel about artificial and processed foods. I love the news recipes that I can try and I Really like that you’re not overboard with it and understand the balance.

  169. Wanda

    Awesome post! I just stumbled upon your blog and will definitely follow you. I love your way 80/20 philosophy, especially with the kids. This clean eating concept is relatively new to me, but I’ve realized after reading that I’ve been doing a somewhat “modified” version of it all along! Thanks again! Look forward to reading more!

    1. Melissa

      Thanks girl! I think things would be different if I didn’t have kids, but moderation in ALL things seems to bode really well with them. What kid doesn’t want to enjoy what the neighbor kids are sharing?! Your comment made my day!

  170. Alicia Anderson

    I bet people don’t think these are “clean” recipes because they sound like they are delicious! I just got done yummy ideas for recipes. Thank you!

  171. Susan

    Love your blog, and do ot be disheartened by nasty individuals who just have to be know it alls …. I have seen people who are supposed to be eating clean and healthy post toxic recipes full of pre packaged condiments etc. I also recently went to a Natural Health Food Store opening and found them stocking Atkins products among other pre packaged food products(it is all about money.)
    People should do the best they can , eat as much whole food as they can and in the end as my father used to say when we were kids as he farmed for the property owners, “spread your poisons around ” … Too much of one thing is not a good thing….

  172. lovingthespice

    Wow. You “get” me. I think we are so similar in so many ways and I love that I found your blog!! I have 2 little kids and it’s hard to do 100% clean. Not because mine won’t eat it, but b/c of time and energy for me! We do the best we can, when we can. I love that you say you don’t want to raise kids with food issues. I agree. I want to educate them to know what is good and what is not good for you, but I always tell them that “once in awhile” treats are fine. And my son likes to use that on me when asking for doritos at the store. haha. I do try to do organic…mainly for the dirty dozen, but sometimes I can’t/won’t even do that…mainly w/ bell peppers. The price for organic is nuts!! And in this house we eat a lot of peppers! All colors. I’m loving the local farms stands right now though. I tried to grow my own in our garden, but of course, all the pepper plants died. Everything else is happy and healthy, growing strong, but every single pepper plant died! Another thing…we are getting backyard chickens soon! I think we would be friends if you lived near me. Sorry for this long post, but I just had to share. 🙂

    1. lovingthespice

      oh my goodness, and now I just read your “About” page. We go yard saling every weekend, most of my house is decorated w/ thrift store, yard sale or homemade stuff. 🙂 We do full fat everything around here. I’m obsessed w/ green smoothies. I sew. I lead the crafts at my mom’s group. Gardening, baking, etc. The only difference I’ve read so far is that I’m short. 5’3″ short. 🙂 lol!

    2. Melissa

      Internet best friend!!! We are twinners. Do you blog?! I’m so with you about the dirty dozen and just trying. Perfection isn’t the key… it’s the effort and doing it well most of the time! I sure like you, let’s keep in touch.

      1. Lisa Lexo

        I don’t blog. My hubby and friends say I should, but there are so many out there already, I don’t think I’d be doing anything new. Plus lack of time and SO many “passions” in my life to write about. IF I did though, I think my blog name would be, Sex, Food and Rock n Roll. LOL! I looked it up though and someone already has that name. haha. I’m sure I’ll be reading more on your blog. I’ll use my facebook account from now on, not the wordpress one. I just followed you on Pinterest. 🙂 Lisa Lexo.

          1. Lisa Lexo

            Oh duh! yeah, I meant food, sex and rock and roll. haha! and there is another reason I won’t have a blog. Terrible at writing. 😉

      2. Susan

        Just an aside as I am reading more on here… I am 56 and was raised without a thought to any of today’s constraints on GMO and organic…. I am still alive and pretty well…. My Children and several whole generations of people I know we’re raised the same way without the rigid craziness of what you absolutely must eat and no eat.All are pretty well also… I am not saying that we do not have the occasional chronic illness strike ( back in the day people did too and they lived shorter lives) and I am not negating the impact of GMOs and toxic chemicals in our foods… But get real there is no way with our population numbers and living arrangements that everyone could eat perfectly…. Some are thankful to just eat… I am of the generation that was told to clean our plate , there are children starving in other countries…

        1. nonfrazzledmom

          This is so true. I love how you all think. My motto is very similar…Do the best you can with what you have and be thankful. Besides, we live not by bread alone….(Matt 4:4)

        2. Gstad

          It’s not about eating perfectly, it is about eating smart. The truth is, with the average American diet, our children can expect to have shorter life spans than their parents. But eating smart doesnt have to be incredibly difficult or time consuming. That is why it is inspiring to see Blogs like this :-).

  173. Megan

    THANK YOU! I needed this post today after falling off my healthy eating bandwagon! This is just the thing to get me back on it 🙂

    1. Melissa

      July is a hard month isn’t it?! We had so many parties and family things after the forth that we’ve been off track most of the month too! Thanks for the kind comment 🙂

  174. Ashley

    Hey! So do you want to come and move to the real desert and be my cook? Cause I hate cooking. It would make you my favoritest cousin in the world!
    But in seriousness, I’m going to make my creamy chicken and noodles tomorrow and we’ll see how I do with out the cream of chicken. And I’m wanting to try that whole wheat pizza dough. Funny enough it’s your mom’s recipe that I currently use for pizza dough.

  175. I love this and all the effort that you have put into it. I would of loved it in an ebook that I would be happy to pay money for, so that everything is all in the one, instead of having to get the recipes from different areas. (just being lazy).
    Smiles & blessings,
    Julie x

      1. Joy

        I have just found you, and feeling very selfish! I too would like to have a printable copy EVERYTHING you have released to the masses (told you I was selfish)! I’m fast approaching retirement with only occasional children in the house (unless you count my husband). I think your cooking is much the way my mother’s was, before we had all the stupid additives in our food. I’m pretty sure you are an answer to prayers I’ve been sending out for quite sometime. Don’t ever let the Negative Nellies out there slow you down. I’m sure you are a keeper and a blessed rescuer for people like me! Thanks!!!!

        1. Melissa

          Joy! Kind comments make this whole blog worth it… THANK YOU! And I think we are two peas in a pod 🙂 And just so you know I am knee-deep in an e-book that will be full of all these recipes and a lot easier to print. Curious… what would you pay for a lot of info and maybe 30 killer healthy recipes in one place? I was thinking $4.99. It’ll be about 45 pages. Do you have any thoughts?

          1. Kathy

            I would pay $5 for your e book! It would be awesome to have these recipes and grocery list and your comments! All in one place. Thank you for all your hard work and caring for your children and our world! 🙂

          2. Lois

            Ditto on the $5 for an ebook. My sister and I just turned 50 (twins) and we are re-committing ourselves to eating more wholesome foods. We both do gardens and my husband and I raise a couple of beef cows each year. This is the first place I have found that takes a more realistic approach to healthy eating so thank you very much for that. I have found that if no one in the house including yourself is going to eat those whole wheat, greek yogurt muffins that taste like dry cardboard, then why are you making them? HaHa. So trying to tweak my old recipes just enough to make them more healthy but still eatable.

          3. Lois! Thanks for the great comment! We raised lambs last year for meat and I’m thinking about turkey this year… I might have to bug you about info on beef cows. If we get a little more land they are first on the list for sure!

          4. kat

            New to this to so excited can’t wait to try it . Can you please send me list too? Thank you. I have been looking for something like this too cool 🙂

  176. Danielle H.

    Love your perspective! I too cannot afford to buy much organic, but I feel like if I am making bread, muffins and cookies from scratch, that is much better than store bought products. Thank you for making me feel I am making good choices for my family.

  177. Jennifer Majewski

    Love your posts! Going to try this with my family 🙂 Thank you for sharing all the ideas, tips, and recipes and making them budget friendly.

  178. AWESOME post! Thanks so much! I am jumping on the clean eating bandwagon, and I think I am like you. I don’t buy organic, mostly because I don’t trust that green logo, but I try to check ingredient and make sure I am buying whole foods and eating from scratch as much as possible. I am anti-white flour and love all your whole wheat recipes 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Melissa

      Thank you SO much for the kind comment. LOVE this topic and LOVE when people “get” me on it 🙂 Any good whole wheaty recipe on your site I should know about and link to ??? 🙂