Clean Eating Kitchen

What is Clean Eating?

If you’re new to healthy eating, then you might be wondering what is clean eating? Is it a diet or a lifestyle?

The truth is, there isn’t one standard definition of clean eating. Clean eating is actually mean to be flexible and account for your individual needs. But, here is one definition.

Clean eating includes real, whole foods most of the time, choosing organic and sustainable options whenever possible. Clean eating also means selecting foods that meet one’s individual needs.

Clean eating shopping bags

So, by that definition, clean eating isn’t limited to one particular diet, such as vegan, plant-based, or paleo. 

Letting Go of Unnecessary Restriction

Popular culture has taught us that there is one ideal body type and one perfect diet. But, the truth is that every woman’s body is different and beautiful. Additionally, there is not one way to eat healthy. 

The bottom line is that you don’t necessarily need to follow food restrictions just because someone else is doing it. If you are working with a functional medicine practitioner, he or she can often do advanced food sensitivity testing to determine what foods you might be sensitive to.

Your healthcare provider will also likely have some input as to what dietary restrictions would be best for you, such as gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and/or sugar-free. 

Clean Eating Recipes

That said, many of the recipes on Clean Eating Kitchen are both gluten-free and dairy-free, mostly because those are common food intolerances. I try to offer many different types of options for my recipes, since everyone has differing needs. 

See my entire clean eating recipe index. You may also want to check out my recipe ebook 5-Ingredient Clean Eating Recipes.

Going Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free

For some people like me, it’s important to go both gluten-free and dairy-free. While managing food restrictions can seem overwhelming, it can also help manage symptoms of autoimmune disease, acne, PCOS, hormone issues, bloating, and more.

Be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider to see which diet he or she recommends for you. 

Here is an article with tips for getting started with a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. And, you can read more about my clean eating before and after journey

Eating For Your Individual Needs

The bottom line is that it’s up to you to decide what clean eating means. Feel free to experiment with recipes and ingredients (see the Clean Eating Kitchen full recipe index).


How do I get started on a clean eating diet?

The best way to start is to find a few recipes from this site that look good to you. Start making a weekly meal plan with recipes using real food ingredients. Skip the processed foods and make your food at home. Over time, start trying new ingredients until you are eating a wide variety of clean eating foods.

Don’t forget to join my email list. I’ll send you my Clean Eating Quick Start Guide to help you get started.

Do I have to be gluten-free and dairy-free on a clean eating diet?

Absolutely not! But, if you have an autoimmune condition or your doctor has recommended that you avoid gluten or dairy, then you should give it a try.

Can I follow a clean eating diet on a budget?

Yes, you can. Here are my best tips for eating clean on a budget.

What should I buy on a clean eating diet?

Try to buy mostly real foods without too many added sugars. Check out my full Clean Eating Grocery List & Pantry Guide for a comprehensive shopping list!


Clean eating is a flexible approach to nutrition, allowing for individual differences and needs. The goal is to eat as many whole, real foods as possible, plus choosing organic and sustainable options when available.