V-Lean Essentials & Substitutes

The V-Lean lifestyle is just that….a lifestyle. It is not a temporary diet with cheat days and an eventually reversion back to old eating habits. That being said, you have to find V-Lean friendly treats and staples that will help you to be successful and fully reap the benefits of this lifestyle change.


Some of our favorite drinks can be the most sabotaging to our nutrition. Sugar-filled, calorie rich soft drinks and coffees will keep you from attaining your health goals. Try these V-Lean-friendly substitutes to keep your goals the priority.

  • Hiball Sparkling Energy Water has become one of my favorite Keto beverages. Rich with B vitamins and natural energy, Hiball tastes delicious and is a refreshing, calorie and sugar free drink. It comes in a variety of flavors, but grapefruit is my favorite.
  • La Croix is refreshing and crisp, and has been the perfect evening beverage for me in place of my normal glass of wine. I look forward to my nightly La Croix in my favorite wine glass just as much as I ever did wine! Throw in a slice of lime for a “fancier” feel.
  • Dr. ZeviaThis is a phenomenal substitute for Dr. Pepper and is what got me over my Coke-in-a-can addiction last year. They have a variety of flavors and are made with Stevia, so zero calories and zero sugar. Best V-Lean-friendly soda there is!
  • Bone Broth is a nutrient dense, filling, gut healing, comforting, collagen filled, natural anti-aging serum. Make your own, or purchase Kettle and Fire for a delicious, on-the-go option. I drink one cup of bone broth a day for its numerous health benefits and to stave off that nagging “snacking” hunger.
This is a phenomenal substitute for Dr. Pepper and is what got me over my Coke-in-a-can addiction last year. They have a variety of flavors and are made with Stevia, so zero calories and zero sugar. Best V-Lean-friendly soda there is!


Oh, Reese’s cups, how I miss you…..actually, not at all! I LOVE milk chocolate and I love sweet breakfasts. Fortunately, I have found some amazing V-Lean-friendly products that satiate my cravings for sugar and the vices that would wreck my diet.

  • Choc Zero Chocolate Bark This tastes JUST like a Herseys bar with almonds, seriously! Containing only 3 grams of carbs for each individually wrapped piece, which is a generous portion, this has become an absolute essential in our household. Throw on a spoonful of your favorite low-carb nut butter, and oh my!
  • Choc Zero Maple Pecan Syrup Breakfast is one of my favorite meals, and I adore pancakes covered in butter and syrup. This company has created the most delicious, sugar-free syrup that allows me to continue to eat my favorite breakfast food (with a V-Lean-friendly pancake recipe, of course).
  • Pure Sweet for Life is MY FAVORITE sweetener! I discovered it just days after Stephen and I started the V-Lean program at the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte. After tasting it, I didn’t believe that there wasn’t something in it that was going to shoot my blood sugar through the roof. It tastes and looks JUST like sugar! You have to order directly through their website, but it is so worth it! I use it in coffee, recipes, and even have started using it for everything I make for my kids.
  • Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chipsare delish and can be used in so many recipes to sweeten them up. I like to add mine to my V-Lean pancakes for a sweet kick.


There are so many delicious snacks out there, and most are carb-filled and not V-Lean-friendly.

  • Chomps Meat Sticks I started ordering these snack sticks when I began the Paleo diet many years ago. They have remained one of our household staples….and the kids love them to!
  • Quest Chips are an amazing V-Lean substitute for those salty cravings. Believe it or not, every single time Stephen and I go to our favorite Mexican restaurant.
  • Whisps I cannot say enough about these chip-like crackers. You can use them for dipping or crumble them over salads or soups in place of croutons.
  • Pork Rinds If you are anything like me, you’re thinking “gross!” I have never liked the idea of eating fried pork skins. I was shocked to discover that they are actually tasty, have a ton of use in the Paleo kitchen, and truly satiate any cravings for salty chips and snacks.


  • Newdles are one of my absolute favorite low carb products! This kit creates noodles that taste like traditional ramen noodles in 1 minute….I’m not kidding! Add hot water and seasoning packets and the noodles are ready. They can be paired with any protein and sauce, or enjoyed as a bowl of noodle soup. Best part, one entire bag is only 95 calories!!!
  • Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil This is the key ingredient in my bulletproof coffee. I use 1 tbls Brain Octane Oil, 1 tbls Kerrygold butter, and a spoonful of my Pure Sweet sweetener. I blend it with my immersion blender, and have a delicious and creamy meal replacement that provides energy, mental clarity, and satiety.
  • Bulletproof Sleep Mode As your body transitions and adjusts to the V-Lean diet, there can be some sleep disturbance. This sleep aid, containing melatonin is the best that I have found in promoting healthy sleep with the “grogginess” in the mornings.
  • Pork Rind Crumbs are super easy to use as a replacement for bread crumbs in any recipe.
  • Meal Prep Containers make meal prepping brainless and a breeze. When I meal prep each week, I make sure I have at least 4 of these on hand to grab and go when needed.
  • Immersion blender is a kitchen tool I could not live without these days. I use this to make my bulletproof coffee almost every morning.
  • Instantpot now has a permanent place on my counter. Sauté, steam, pressure cook, stew……you can use it for everything! Cleanup is a breeze and your food cooks in a fraction of the time it normally would take.
  • Everything But the Bagel SeasoningI cannot say enough about this amazing seasoning! I use it on everything….in eggs, zucchini noodles, you name it! There are several Keto bread recipes that I will share during this challenge that I use this spice in….delish!