As a wellness editor and holistic health coach, I consider myself well-versed in many things: plant-based eating, ancient medicinal practices, and self-love. However, the topic I get asked about most often is wellness supplements–what to take, when to take them, and what’s actually worth it. The interest in vitamins and supplements makes total sense to me: the supplement industry is confusing AF. We have countless brands, influencers, and experts telling us a magic pill is life-changing or a new powder on the market will have miraculous results. Identifying what we really need in a market filled with expensive miracle powders and magic pills is challenging.
So, I’m sharing my supplement routine to serve as inspiration. I thoroughly research every brand, ingredient, and trendy new product and have tried countless pills, powders, and potions. (I legit have an entire closet dedicated to supplements.) The list below contains my tried-and-true, carefully selected supplements from a confusing and oversaturated industry.
PSA: I’m not a doctor. My goal is to help you avoid spending more money on products that will collect dust on your shelves. I’m here to offer transparency on what works for me, and hopefully, you can use it as a starting point to find what works for you. Remember that every body is different. What works great for me might not work for you, and every supplement routine should be crafted with your doctor. I have my clients get lab work with their doctor to identify gaps in their nutrient and vitamin levels. From there, we add supplements based on health goals. So check with your doc, and use my go-to supplement arsenal as a starting point on your wellness journey.
To take every day
A huge problem with the supplement industry is it’s pretty unregulated, so we don’t always know how high-quality or clean the ingredients actually are. Ritual is committed to full traceability–like you can see on the website the exact farm, source, and geographical location where each nutrient comes from. Plus, it’s more absorbable because of the tiny beads within the capsule which have a delayed release in the right part of the digestive tract that absorbs the nutrients, and has more nutrients than typical multivitamins do, like omega-3 DHA.
Sakara is another brand that I really trust their standards of quality–I do not want any additional chemicals or toxins in my body, and if I’m spending my money, I want to make sure its something that will actually make a difference. I love these probiotics because they’re derived from totally clean, raw, plant-based ingredients and contain food cofactors to improve absorption. In addition to the targeted probiotic strains, each pill contains digestive enzymes, systemic enzymes, and prebiotic fiber to ensure the probiotic bacteria can thrive in the gut, as well as other benefits.
I’ve been taking a B-Complex for years as recommended by my doctor. I’m a vegetarian who eats minimal dairy, so I’m not getting a lot of B-12 from my diet, and being on the birth control pill for 10+ years has depleted my B vitamins (again, all according to my doctor!). I love this one that’s organic and made from fruits and veggies. Now that I've been off of birth control for over a year and my vitamin B levels look normal, she recommended a B-complex every other day instead of every day, and we’ll adjust based on what my lab results say in the six months–testing is everything!
Did you know vitamin D is one of the most common deficiencies? Especially through the fall and winter when it’s darker out and we’re not exposed to sun very often. My doctor has said that everyone can afford taking a little vitamin D through the fall and winter months, but–as always–check your levels and talk to your doctor! I love these drops because they contain vitamin K and MCT oil for optimal absorption. I just add a few drops to my morning coffee or tea and it’s the easiest way to get in any vitamin.
Magnesium is another super common deficiency that I think most people could benefit from supplementing or asking their doctor about. My doctor put me on an additional dose of magnesium citrate before bed to ease constipation and then increased my dosage before and during my period to help with cramps (think of it as helping to relax the muscles). It has many other functions, like lung function, bone health, and helping to metabolize carbohydrates. There are different types of magnesium too, like Magnesium Glycate, which is more beneficial for stress relief and nervous system regulation.
Before Arrae came out with their Sleep capsule, I only took sleep supplements for special occasions like travel (more below) or if I couldn’t sleep. But I’m so obsessed with the Sleep capsules that I take them on a nightly basis and have the best sleep. They are not made with melatonin or like any other common sleep supplement–instead, it’s a blend of herbs (like chamomile, holy basil, and valerian root) that works with your circadian rhythm to help regulate your body's natural sleep cycle. So it’s kind of just assisting your body to sleep better on its own, and I truly get the best sleep of my life.
Another huge factor of healing my hormonal health has been supporting healthy insulin and blood sugar levels. I love all things carbohydrates, from pasta to chocolate cake, but a spike in simple carbohydrates is not good for blood sugar. Drinking this herbal “metabolic vinegar” tincture in water before carbohydrate-heavy meals or desserts helps keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range, which in turn supports my overall metabolic and hormonal health. I also swear taking this helps my digestion (probably due to the apple cider vinegar and bitters, which active digestive enzymes), but more on digestion below.
For the past few years, I have been on a major kick to heal my hormones. A huge part of that process has been focusing on my liver health and supporting proper detoxification. This herbal tincture is full of herbs and plants that support the elimination of waste products through the body's detoxification pathways, and I take a dropper-full in a glass of water every morning, without fail.
To improve digestion
I will talk about this powder until I’m blue in the face because of how it’s changed my life. I’m not typically a powder person and much prefer pills because they’re easier to remember or make time to drink a powder, but this is totally different. It tastes like a luxurious hot chocolate (just add raw honey!) and is my self-care moment every day–so tasty, it’s helped me replace my coffee habit. But because of the superfood plant-based ingredients, it has also hugely helped my digestive issues like reducing bloat and healing gut lining.
I’ve tried a lot of digestive enzymes in my day–basically every food leaves me with painful gas, bloat, or stomach pains. These are my favorites to take after any meal because they genuinely help; I notice a major difference and I can actually eat foods I love without suffering. And–you guessed it–they’re full of good-for-you, plant ingredients from fruit and herbs like bromelain (good for speeding food breakdown), peppermint (to prevent gas), and even contains slippery elm to help protect your digestive system. If I’m eating something like broccoli that I know bothers me a little bit, I’ll just take one, but take two after a pasta and wine dinner out.
So you already know about probiotics, but PRE-biotics are just as important because they’re a type of fiber that serves as food for the good bacteria in the gut. Without prebiotics, probiotics cannot survive. I make sure to get prebiotics from food and my probiotics contain prebiotics as well, but I add a scoop of this fiber supplement to smoothies, yogurt, or coffee every few days for additional support, or daily if I feel like my gut health is struggling, like during vacation or a stressful time. I was taking inulin powder (another easy thing to look up and add to your diet!) but my doctor had me replace it with this Sunfiber because it’s a low-FODMAP option if everything triggers your gut like it did mine.
I know, I know: There are so many gut health supplements promising better digestion, and as a girlie that has suffered with chronic constipation and painful bloat for my whole life, I have been through my fair share of supplements that do nothing. This herbal blend is not your regular probiotic or basic vitamin: it is full of herbal medicines and clearing botanicals that target the entire GI tract to support microbial balance and intestinal ecology. I noticed such a difference in my digestion, skin, and even energy when taking these regularly (the gut affects SO much!).
If you haven't checked out our editor's review of My Girl Wellness and the You Go Girl supplement, definitely add it to your TBR list, especially if you struggle with digestion. This supplement is packed with powerhouse ingredients like fennel seed, licorice root extract, milk thistle, ginger root, and cayenne. Take it to get things moving in your gut and make sure your bowel movements stay regular.
To take when under the weather
Historically, the second the weather starts changing, I would get colds that would last well through winter. Now, I know to take extra good care of my body to avoid the dreaded cold or to limit symptoms to get through the season feeling as good as possible. In the fall and winter, I take one of these packets every day (and double up when I start to feel a cold coming on) and I swear it makes a major difference. It contains clean ingredients with no preservatives, unlike other vitamin C sources and immunity packets, and contains added antioxidants, zinc, etc. for an extra boost and better absorption. Also, it’s like a gel consistency you eat straight instead of a powder you add to water, which I prefer because it’s way easier.
There’s A LOT of power in bee products, and propolis is known as one of the greatest superfoods of the world. Containing flavonoids and polyphenols that fight free radicals, as well as vitamin C, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and lots of other antioxidants, it’s incredible for fighting of colds and boosting the immune system. I even do an extra spray when I start getting a sore throat (like after a long day of podcasting when my throat gets scratchy) and it’s immediately gone.
Whether it’s a hangover, tension, period-related, or just general stress, this all-natural product really works to ease headaches. The herbs used are pretty fascinating, like feverfew, which helps reduce sensitivity to headache triggers, or willowbark, that promotes head comfort. It also contains a concentrated dose of magnesium glycinate as I talked about above, that is extremely helpful to help muscles and the nervous system relax, good for both tension and stress related headaches.
I have not been the biggest fan of lozenges or cough drops in the past. When reading labels of popular drugstore varieties, most are filled with dyes and added sugars (which can actually suppress your immune system, BTW), and low in any ingredients that will actually help your throat or cough. These lozenges are completely different. They're full of clean and natural ingredients, contain raw honey which is a powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial agent, and also contains ingredients that support your immune system like vitamin D and zinc, so you're soothing symptoms while supporting your immune system to fight the cold completely, helping with a speedier recovery.
To take while traveling
By now, I have talked approximately 10 friends and family members into hopping on the 8Greens bandwagon. My #1 can’t-live-without health product will always be whole, leafy greens (one of nature’s greatest medicine, IMO). I always aim to add greens to at least two meals a day because it makes the biggest difference in my skin, energy, digestion, immune system, etc. However, when traveling, I don’t always have access to fresh, leafy greens. Enter: 8Greens. Made with spinach, wheatgrass, kale, blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, and aloe vera, each tablet is packed with a variety of nutrients that make you feel amazing. In the form of a convenient tablet you just add to water—it’s like a DIY green juice on-the-go. I also drink 8Greens when I need an extra boost of nutrients in addition to leafy greens, like if I’m starting to get a cold or feel extra drained.
Dr. Christian Gonzalez (you can listen to him on Heal Thy Self Podcast) talks a lot about how the polyphenols and antioxidants in green tea (particularly a highly concentrated version like matcha) can help the body better absorb and detoxify alcohol. Now I have not checked out any other studies to back this up, so do your own research and check out his explanation/recommendations for yourself, but I do take a green tea extract supplement when on vacation (AKA when I’m drinking a lot more alcohol than usual). Do I notice an immediate difference? Not really, but I like knowing I am fueling my body with additional antioxidants. Note: You can also just drink green tea or matcha!
You know when you just feel so deeply dehydrated, either from a plane, being in the sun more than usual, drinking alcohol, or just extra depleted from a long day of travel? In order to be optimally hydrated, your body doesn’t just need water–it needs electrolytes that allow your body to hang onto and absorb the water. There are a lot of electrolyte drinks and supplements out there that are full of added sugars, dyes, and toxins, so I like to add some lime juice and a pinch of Himalayan salt for natural electrolytes in my water, but I also love these electrolytes from Moon Juice, which taste like watermelon and contain added minerals. You’ll feel an immediate hydration, on a deeper level than you would from chugging a glass of plain water.
Even going from the west coast to the east coast can totally knock off my sleep schedule (a three-hour time change makes a huge difference when trying to fall asleep at night!) so I like to travel with these capsules to help me fall asleep during nights when I know it will be difficult for me to sleep or I’m dealing with jet lag. They contain a small dose of melatonin, which lets the body know it’s time to sleep and release more melatonin, but also uses magnesium and herbs to relax the body and ease stress so you can fall asleep naturally too (and stay asleep!).
For stress relief
I’ve been using these CBD drops for a few years now and I think they will always be a part of my daily routine. While the Arrae Calm tablets are for occasional moments of stress, I use the Daily Drops every day for better response to stress and anxiety over time. High-quality CBD is extremely effective at helping to regulate mood and stress levels. Bonus: they can also increase focus and relieve tension.
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Important PSA: If you have not hopped on the CBD bandwagon to improve your focus, energy, stress relief, and even anxiousness, you are seriously missing out. CBD has made a huge difference in promoting a sense of calm and stress relief without making me sluggish so I love taking these Equilibria ones to start my mornings off on the right foot.
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If you can’t already tell, Arrae can do no wrong in my eyes–I am indeed a fan and daily user of every one of their products. I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember, and—while there’s no quick fix for mental health—this supplement is such an important part of my mental health toolbox. Regular therapy, daily meditation, etc. help keep my anxiety at bay, but taking a Calm Capsule (with ingredients like magnesium and passionflower) is one of the few things I’ve tried that actually works when a stressful meeting is coming up, I’m getting worried while traveling, or I’m feeling extra anxious one day.
Please consult a doctor or health professional before beginning any supplements or treatments. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or health goal. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.
This post is sponsored by Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.