Easy tools will help you master the trendiest diets

Nikhita Mahtani, CNN Underscored
Mon May 6, 2019

From keto and paleo to Whole 30, it seems specialty diets are all the rage. And while it's important to consult with your doctor and your body to figure out which one is right for you, finding the resources to actually implement these diets can be quite the challenge. For instance, which cookbook will provide recipes that are actually easy to follow? How do you find the best snacks for your busy life? There are many options out there, but they don't all deliver. We're taking the guesswork out of it for you with some of the best items to help you finally master your diet, no matter which one you're following.

If you thought following a trendy diet was complicated and expensive, think again: Vitacost Paleo Eats ($1.29 and up; vitacost.com) offers options starting at less than $2. You can customize your selection on this varied grocery site by adding in practically any diet, but the paleo eats are particularly impressive -- think comfort food snacks like Artisan Tropic Plantain Strips ($3.39; vitacost.com) and Sejoyia Chewy Cookie Bites ($6.19; vitacost.com), as well as specialty ingredients like Miracle Noodle Organic Shirataki Rice ($2.09; vitacost.com) and Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos ($5.38; vitacost.com). With Vitacost offering free shipping over $49 and prices way below what you'll find at regular grocery stores, you'll want to stock up.

If you enjoy cooking, but hate schlepping to the grocery store and finding recipes, then Home Chef meal delivery service ($49.80 and up; homechef.com) will help make home-cooked dinners a regular part of your routine. Offering low-carb and low-calorie options, Home Chef delivers ingredients for two to six people and allows you to select how many times per week you'd like to cook. The delivery service works on a subscription-based model, but you can select different options and meals each week, as well as cancel or pause at any time should life (or travel) get in the way. While Home Chef doesn't tailor to a specific diet, it allows you the flexibility of choosing meals that align with your needs. This works especially well if you're the only person in your household following the diet, since you can select other options for your family members or roommates.

In order to make stocking up on products easy, Brandless has created a Keto Pantry Essentials Bundle ($52; brandless.com) that includes a variety of keto-friendly products at a very affordable price. This 17-piece set includes everything from spices like ground turmeric and thyme to snacks like wild tuna and peanut butter, allowing you to have a good selection of items for easy, versatile cooking. All the products are organic and non-GMO, coming in resealable packaging for peak freshness. You can also buy these items individually, but the set is really helpful for people who need to start from scratch in the kitchen.

For easy, healthy meals in a flash, the combination of the Instant Pot Lux Mini ($59.92; walmart.com) and "Whole 30 Instant Pot #2019: The Ultimate Whole 30 Instant Pot Cookbook" ($6.98; amazon.com) will revolutionize your meal prep and menu. The Instant Pot is a multiuse pressure cooker that can be used as a slow cooker and rice cooker, among others. It even includes an egg program that'll cook a perfectly done egg with the touch of a button. Boasting a 4.7-star rating on Walmart, the product comes with delayed cooking options for busy days, as well as safety precautions like burn prevention. But having a versatile kitchen appliance doesn't make sense if you don't know what to make with it — and the Whole 30 Instant Pot cookbook takes care of that problem with a variety of dairy-free, grain-free recipes. Options include inventive curries and flavorful meats, and this book goes a step further by explaining the Whole 30 program and what to expect when you slowly wean off it. With a 5-star Amazon rating, the reviews suggest people are using it far beyond their 30-day programs as well.

A favorite among supermodels, Sakara Life Clean Boutique ($9 and up; sakara.com) and Sakara Meal Delivery Service ($9 and up; sakara.com) offer easy ways to live vegan without sacrificing on taste and quality. Each meal program is organic, gluten-free, dairy-free and plant-based — which means, yes, it's not strictly vegan, but you can customize to remove honey and bee pollen if you so desire, as well as any of a multitude of allergens. The meals come ready to eat -- with inventive options including tempeh Bolognese and a plant-based bagel with cream cheese -- so you don't have to stress about anything but which one you want to eat first. In terms of meal options, you can select breakfast, lunch, dinner, or any combination of the three. If you'd rather do your own cooking than get ready-to-eat dishes, you can supplement with healthy superfoods from Sakara Life's boutique, including a decadent dark chocolate granola ($16; sakara.com) and Life Source plant-based protein powder ($45; sakara.com), to make vegan eating an easy part of your daily routine.

No matter which diet you're trying, chances are a healthy smoothie is a staple. However, finding a quality blender that won't leave shreds of kale at the bottom of your glass is a challenge. Luckily, the Ninja 60-Ounce Pulse Blender ($85.99; target.com) is both affordable and effective. It comes in a hefty size so you can make several servings at once, and it's equipped with state-of-the-art crushing technology, ideal for any ingredients you'll want to throw in your smoothie. No wonder it has a 5-star rating on Target.

For snacks and tools especially for the keto novice, Perfect Keto Products ($7.99 and up; perfectketo.com) has you covered. This brand focuses especially on keto-friendly versions of your favorite treats, including a Keto Nut Butter ($17.99; perfectketo.com), made with macadamias and cashews, as well as some delicious, low-carb Keto Snack Bars ($39.99; perfectketo.com). The flagship product, however, is called Exogenous Ketone Base ($56.99; perfectketo.com). Meant for people who have trouble reaching ketosis and need a little more help sticking to the diet, the supplement comes in several flavors, like peach and chocolate. It's a base offering high-quality ketones that will help fight the sugar cravings that normally come with this diet — after all, when your body is in ketosis, things like fruit and flour are off limits, but you'll still want something sweet. The base can even be used as an on-the-go breakfast or snack when you need a little pick-me-up.

If you think eating paleo is expensive and complicated, grab a copy of "Eat What You Love" ($20.71, originally $24.50; barnesandnoble.com) now. Author Danielle Walker (also behind the best-seller "Against All Grain") created a collection of 125 gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo recipes that focus especially on easy weeknight meals. With healthier takes on comfort food like chicken pot pie and lemon ricotta pancakes, the book is divided into four weeks of meal plans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It targets issues people often have with meal prep, such as coming up with simple packed lunches or finding easy one-pan recipes. Following a grain-free, dairy-free diet without thinking you're sacrificing taste isn't easy, but this cookbook will help change that mindset.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed prices at the time of publication.