Supplements: Essential vs. Nice-to-have

A bunch of you have asked what my supplement regime is, so I thought it’d be fun to talk about supplements as a whole and delve into the ones I use and why.

As much as I’d love to believe that money grows on trees, it doesn’t. So when it comes to having a conversation about supplements, I can understand why people get scared of it.

The good news is, is that you don’t need to drown in supplement bills to live a happy and healthy life.

The Essentials

Generally speaking, the essentials that everyone needs are:

  • Multi-vitamin. Because [unfortunately] no matter how clean you eat, there’s just not enough nutrients in our soil to provide you with all of the macro + micro nutrients you need.
  • Omega-3. Omega 3 + 6 play a balancing game. If one is low, the other is high, and vice versa. Our diets are naturally high in omega-6, so we need to supplement with omega-3 to keep that balance.
  • Probiotics. I can’t tell you the last time I met a client that didn’t have issues with their digestive or intestinal system. We run our digestion to the MAX from the time we move from our mothers milk, to our last day. So it’s no wonder we’re deficient in healthy bacteria! [For more information on healthy bacteria, checkout this post]

Essentials: Personal Picks


Cost: $1.33/day

Vitamin Code is a raw form of multivitamins created by Garden of Life. Garden of Life is one of my favorite supplement companies. Their supplements are sourced from real food, the have high standards, and they truly stand behind their commitment to offering the best products to the consumer.


Cost: $0.58/day

I am new to Ascenta NutraSea, but have already fallen madly in love! When shopping for an omega-3 supplement, there are a couple of things I look for:

  • Ratio of EPA to DHA.
    • complement your diet: 1.5 EPA to every DHA [I use this ratio]
    • joint health: 4.5EPA:1DHA
    • heart health: 2EPA:1DHA
    • brain performance: 1EPA:5DHA
  • Price comparison to competitors.
  • Source of omega-3. Herringand sardines harbor some of the highest levels of heart-healthy omega-3.


Cost: $0.83/day

I am an unfaithful probiotics user. I jump from product to product (but this dairy-free DDS Acidophilus powder is my favorite). But you know what, that’s a good thing! I am of the school of thought that the more you try, the more diverse your bacteria.

Things I look for in a probiotic supplement are:

  • Dairy free
  • Sugar free
  • Minimal ingredients
  • Powdered form. This is a preference thing. I like it powdered so I know all of it will be used.
  • Single vs. dual celled. Single species are good if you’re fighting a specific health issue. If you’re just taking probiotics to support your health, a dual celled bacteria is best.

Personal Essentials

Depending on someone’s history and current state of health, additional supplements may be essential.

My personal essentials are evening primrose oil + B complex.

Personal Essentials: Personal Picks

Evening Primrose Oil

Cost: $0.44/day

Efamol Pure Evening Primrose Oil makes my PMS much more bearable. I still crave chocolate, but I don’t want to scream, cry, and jump for joy, all in a matter of seconds.

Evening primrose oil also acts as a cheap relationship therapist. Trust me.

Vitamin B complex


This B100 Complex assists with stress + energy support. I do not take this daily, only when I need it!

The nice-to-haves

In addition to the supplements above, I also rely on:

  • Spirulina. Used as a protein supplement and energy booster from time to time. Check out my post on spirulina here.
  • Vitamin D drops. My best bud during the dark and dreary days of Winter.

So there you have it. Moral of the story is: find a good multi-vitamin, probiotic, and fish oil and you’ll be set. Unless of course you have some underlying health issues that need addressing, but for most of us, getting on this minimalistic supplement regime will do wonders for our health.

Are you a supplement taker? What’s your favorite supplement company?

Do you find it challenging to remember to take your supplements?

I battled with this problem for years until I setup a supplement schedule. I found 2 things in my day that I do everyday no matter what. Breakfast + Lunch.

Every time I purchase a new bottle of supplements, I separate 1/2 and place it in my lunch kit, and the other stays in the fridge at home.

Breakfast smoothie = supplements

Grabbing lunch = supplements

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  1. Hi Leanne!
    I have some questions about supplements.
    Is taking different kind of supplements from only one brand okay or should I mix things up? For example, I really like Garden of Life because its raw, organic, whole based. I take this brands Multivitamin for Women and also Raw D3 5000IU. I would like to start taking Garden of Life probiotics and B complex also, but then I think maybe it’s not such a good idea, because of their similar ingredients? I really don’t desire to take anything artificial, but then again maybe some supplements are better for the body when they are not whole food based or something like that..? So what do you think?
    Or do you have recommendations for probiotics and also B-complex vitamins for sensitive stomach? Something that hasn’t got other junk in it.
    And last..about magnesium.. there are so different forms of it. How do I know which one I need? Or is there some great brand out there that has all diferent magnesium forms in it?
    Thanks ahead :)

  2. Hi leanne. I just started following keto plan and I am liking it.
    I have a thyroid issue and very low on minerals especially iodine. What could I take to get my energy levels optimal ad I am tired most of the time
    Thanks again

  3. I take vitamin c, d3 , ubiquinol , .
    If I have extra $ , I add astraxanthan (sp)?
    and. Krill oil caps
    I am going to add Chlorella as it seems to be one step above Spirullina.
    I use Dr Mercolas products for purity and integrity . I also take his probiotic but can’t say I can tell the difference .
    In addition I consume 1T of organic coconut oil daily and 1T of Turneric paste split into 2 doses .

  4. Hi, I have been eating Keto for about 4-5 mos. now. Have lost no weight to speak of.I do need to add that I think I have lost a few inches, but not anything real measurable. I don’t have a lot to lose but was aiming for about 10lbs. Not sure what Im doing wrong, Im active, I count my macros and keep my calories at about 1,600. Thinking maybe buying your book and using your meal plans may be the answer?

  5. Hi Leanne, I’m really enjoying your podcasts, videos, and books. I was on Paleo for 1 year. Reading Terry Wahls–because of my auto-immune issues, I came across keto, so I’m less than one week into a new approach. Already feel better. Brain fog, energy level, and depression are SOOO much better, so that I’m very encouraged. I have two questions: I make my own bone broth and drink it regularly. Would you suggest also taking a multi-mineral, e.g., liquid trace ionic ( or a tablet? And, could you point me in a direction for a list of the blood tests I should get through my doctor? Thank you so much. Warm regards, Lica4

  6. Hey Girl,
    I’m new to you, 62 yrs. old, male, have diabetes II (FBS run between 140 – 181), can’t lose weight. I have been told numerous times that I’ll never lose belly fat til I lower my BS/A1c. My last blood lab indicated an A1c of 6.1%. That was before Christmas. I have support issues with my family. But my wife does try. What do you think?

    • Thanks for stopping by! If what you’re doing isn’t working, you’re in a fine place to try something new! I can’t speak from a medical standpoint, as I am not your healthcare provider. But I have seen many people in your place have great success with the keto eating style.

  7. Hi Leanne. I’m new to your site but like what I’ve read so far. I wanted to share with you my regular daily supplements. I take Omega 50 plus 2 capsules, a b 12 sublingual tablet, multi vitamin, vit D3, and turmeric every day. I’ve noticed so much more energy and decreased inflammtion since I’ve started these several months ago. I’m 55 yrs old and work 12 hr shifts so needed the added energy. My goal this year is to clean up my diet and get healthier and build strength.

    • Sounds great! Good for you for setting such awesome goals :)

  8. Hi Leanne,
    I stumbled upon your website while browsing. I am currently working with a retired clinical nutritionist who is a good friend. We are doing the paleo/keto except to start with no pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes etc. I am wanting to lose weight and get healthy. She has taught me that any vitamins I take need to be from assayed companies. I am intrigued by your Multi Vitamin but that company is not on her list of assayed companies. Do you know if that brand would fall into that category? Thank you for all your excellent help! Donna (born & raised Canadian but currently in the USA where the Lord led us to be) :)

  9. I have read on multiple other keto sites and Facebook pages that magnesium, zinc and potassium are super important for this way of life. They werent as focused on green and whole foods like you are (I just started following you the other day and am in love ? Haha) so I am assuming you get more of this minerals then those who arent as focused on as much nutrient dense foods? Btw I love that you are a fellow Canadian!

    • Hey! This post was written long before I was keto. It’s definitely important to have magnesium and to balance electrolytes while eating keto. We can get much of this stuff from veggies, but sometimes we need to supplement, too. I hope this helps!

  10. Hi Leanne

    What about Antioxidants likes Moringa? Kelp? And Multi Mineral to improve bone density and also Turmerynne?