Dr. Kai Wu, Co-Founder
Back in paleolithic times or what felt like it (i.e. pre-Internet/web), in the snowy northern state known as Canada, I went vegan for ethics and ecology, catalyzed by reading Diet For A New America. The health benefits of a whole-foods plant-based diet came shortly afterward: a few weeks after cutting all meat and dairy, while walking home from school, I remembered breathing easily through my nose and smelling clearly, for the first time. Decades later, I’m still grateful that the best diet for our shared planet and our fellow animals, is also what’s best for our bodies — as amply evidenced by personal experience, the growing ranks of elite-level vegan athletes, and a rising tidal wave of nutrition science.
Food-wise, after several physics and engineering degrees and always having a busy schedule, my daily meals evolved to have two features: first, optimize every meal to a single container (into a blender or a pressure cooker pot), and second, only use the highest nutrition ingredients (i.e. superfoods like oat groats, black beans, kale, avocados, nuts, berries, etc), especially those highlighted by Dr. Greger and NutritionFacts.org
Nevertheless, expecting everyone to quickly and effectively change their diet was unrealistic. For plant-based newcomers, the practicalities were daunting, and I often wondered what, if anything, would work for most people. Healthy whole foods in the produce and bulk sections would always take more effort and skill than the easy but highly processed options on supermarket shelves. And without support, many people were overwhelmed daily by an entire industry and culture of cheap fast food, deliberately made addictive with added sugar, fat, salt, and artificial flavors.
The real-world solution was simple but not yet easy: make truly healthy food even more convenient than fast food. Befriending fellow expat Matt in Berlin inspired new ideas on healthy convenience, and we soon teamed up on what’s been the biggest adventure of our lives.
LeafSide Favorites: the Mint Chip smoothie, for a massive antioxidants package. 🙂 The Berry Medley and Cacao Banana sweet-bowls are also regular go-to’s, and the Creamy Forest Mushroom still surprises me with its rich taste. The Black Bean & Tomato soup readily serves as either a “super-hummus” bread dip, or fantastic addition to whole grains like oats or sprouted-grain bread.
More background: LinkedIn