Frequently, you guys will message me on Instagram, or send me an email to ask what brand of _____ I use, or whether or not I like _____. I’ve been responding individually, but the other day, someone asked if I had a list of recommended vegan keto items I use, and it seemed like a good idea to put everything down in a post.
Five years of vegan keto eating have definitely given me a good idea of what to use, and what really isn’t necessary. I hope you guys find this list helpful. I’m going to post a quick list up top, but to read explanations about each item, scroll down!
My Vegan Keto Essentials:
- Glucose meter: OWell Bayer Contour Blood Glucose Testing Kit
- Ketone strips: 150 ct. ketone test strips
- Electrolyte powder: Ultima Replenesher
- B12 supplement: Deva Sublingual B12
- Protein Powder: Vega Essentials
Glucose Meters and Ketone Tests
I do measure my blood glucose levels from time to time, and ketone levels as well. Usually, I can just tell if I’m in ketosis by feel (more on that here), but I’ve been trying to actually quantify how I’m “feeling” lately to have data points as a reference. I’m not a huge fan of constantly monitoring yourself if you don’t need to (mostly because you end up spending a lot on the strips if you do so, plus I don’t have the best circulation, so those little pinpricks add up), but definitely think it’s worth measuring from time to time to see how things are going. Obviously, if you have diagnosed diabetes or blood sugar issues, this is a different scenario, and you should continue to follow the advice of your doctor!
Recommended Monitor: OWell Bayer Contour Blood Glucose Testing Kit
Since I started a ketogenic diet to help with blood glucose control, the more important metric to me has always been blood glucose levels. For this reason, I opt to just use a blood glucose monitor when testing blood sugar levels. I have encountered some in the past that are less than accurate, but the Bayer one linked above is tried and true.
For testing ketone levels, I tend not to worry too much about serum levels of ketones. Most monitors that also do ketone testing are more expensive, and the strips run between $2-3 each. I just don’t see that as a worthwhile investment, unless you really need it.
As the cost of ketone strips that you pee on has gone down over the years, those seem to be a totally reasonable option, if you want to know when you have managed to achieve ketosis. Because these measure ketone levels in your urine, and not your blood, they aren’t really up-to-the-minute-accurate. However, they will give you a basic idea of whether or not your body has gone into ketosis recently.
I always find this to be pretty useful information when doing any sort of carb cycling, or after taking a keto break, when you want to know if you’ve actually started producing ketones again. Do you really need them? No, of course not, but if you haven’t gotten the hang of telling when your body is in ketosis, they can be pretty helpful.
This isn’t something that is related to vegan keto specifically, so much as ketogenic and low carb diets in general. Because you end up losing so much water weight on low carb diets, and tend to flush out electrolytes that your body needs to maintain basic functions (like pumping your heart!), supplementing with mineral salts, or an electrolyte powder can be incredibly helpful.
I LOVE this one from Ultima. There are a lot of brands of electrolyte powder on the market, but this one has ZERO carbs (which, awesome), tastes great, and doesn’t use artificial sweeteners (which is important to me!). They also have individual serving packets, for when you are on the go (which is amazingly convenient).
The quick and dirty – this is a sugar-free, vegan, methylcobalamin sublingual supplement that also contains B6 and folic acid.
I don’t take protein powder every day, and it’s certainly not necessary on a vegan ketogenic diet, but there are certainly days where I get a little lazy with food choices, or where I know I won’t be able to make delicious, protein-rich meals. Those are the times when protein powder can be a blessing. The one I tend to use most is Vega Sport, because it contains lots of anti-inflammatory compounds (and was on sale at a MASSIVE discount a few months ago…), but I’m also really digging Vega Essentials as well.
There are a few other protein powders that I like, and I discuss them in more depth in this post.