LeafSide’s May ’22 Health Review

May 2022 Review Header

As the days grow warmer and sunnier, we turn to thinking on…our gut?!

Well as a certain great American iconoclast once quipped, “To eat is human; to digest, divine.” — Twain.

Perhaps seeking to understand the divine is just as human too, because this lovely May, there’s lots of news to share about gut microbiome science! 🤯

At LeafSide, our team is obsessed with the peerless power of whole food plant based (WFPB) nutrition, from:

  • the science — what’s healthiest?  🔬
  • to the ingredients — what’s best in nutrients and taste quality?  🌱
  • to the recipes — what’s going to taste great?  😋
  • to an actual meal you can hold in your hand, take anywhere, and enjoy anytime in minutes — freeing you to live life fully!  🤸

Of course, it’s not just the immediate meal we obsess over — we’re also delivering the plant-proven success we all want: optimal weight, more energy, better sleep, better mood, preventing disease, metabolic health, better skin & scent, athletic performance, and healthy longevity.

To those ends, we’re always paying attention to new videos, podcasts, books, courses, and research on plant-based nutrition, and health & wellness science.  And without further ado, here are new favorites from May 2022!

An Encore, From the Gut: Dr. Will Bulsiewicz Returns to the Rich Roll Podcast

“It’s about progress, not perfection.” — Dr. B.

Why care: Every one of us humans (and other animals too) has a microbiome, i.e. trillions of bacteria that live on and in our bodies, ideally in a healthy, mutually supportive symbiosis, that has co-evolved over many millions of years.

But only in the last decade or so, have scientists begun to know about, and intensely research, the profound link between our gut microbiome, and overall health.  🤔

Despite the newness of microbiome science, there are some stunningly simple principles we can use, to help our trillions of friends, help us in turn. And Dr. Will Bulsiewicz (“Dr. B.”) is one of the best explainers of the microbiome’s why and how.  ✅

The bestselling author of Fiber Fueled makes his encore appearance on The Rich Roll Podcast, one of our favorites for living your best life. This time, the good Dr. B shares his passion for improving everyone’s gut health, covering the latest science and his daily, do-able, how-to advice:

At almost 3 hours, this episode is on the looong side (though you can always select a higher playback speed like 1.25 or 1.5).  So here are some highlights if you’re short on time:

  • Only plants have fiber, and fiber is what feeds our microbiome:  Key definition at about 12 minutes: “Fiber is the prebiotic, the bacteria are the probiotics, and the short chain fatty acids are the postbiotics.”
  • “Those consuming a higher fiber diet (20 grams of fiber per day or more) had a significantly improved response to therapy and survival after  immunotherapy for melanoma…For every 5 grams that you increase your fiber consumption, you increase your survival by 30%.”  🤯
  • Around 26min in: “In a study of frontline healthcare workers, they found that those eating a plant-based diet had a 73% lower risk of moderate to severe COVID-19. There was a 59% reduction in the pescatarian diet. The people who ate a low carbohydrate diet were 3.8 times higher likelihood of developing moderate to severe COVID-19.”  👍
  • About 1 hr in, why eating plants (along with mushrooms, the only sources of dietary fiber) ensures healthy weight: “There are a number of different hormones produced by the gut microbes that will go to the brain and tell us that we feel full. Fiber plays a critical role in this pathway.”
  • 67min, consistency yields victory: “Permanent results in the gut microbiome come from consistency and sustaining your dietary pattern.”
  • 1h 22min, the link between the microbiome and our mind: “We can see a specific pattern in the microbes among those with mood disorders, including anxiety and major depression. There are more inflammatory microbes and less short chain fatty acid producing microbes…Depression is an inflammatory disorder. Inflammation underpins coronary artery disease, cancer, and mood disorders.”  😲
  • Dr. B echoes his bottom-line, JUST-1-RULE advice from hist first NYT bestseller Fiber Fueled, at the 1h 35min mark 📢   “In The American Gut Project, when they performed their analysis they found that the single most powerful predictor of a healthy gut microbiome was the diversity of plants in their diet. Specifically, those consuming 30 or more plants per week had the healthiest guts.” 🥝  🍉 🥑 🍠 🥦

That’s just a small sampling of this health & wellness science extravaganza. Check it out! The information may change your life, and help someone you care about.

Want to find out even more? One of our favorite books at the LeafSide HQ, is Dr. B’s first book,

Fiber Fueled book cover & reviews count

But if you want the skinny, here’s the most highlighted, biggest-font, bolded text in the book:

“The single greatest predictor of a healthy gut microbiome is the diversity of plants in one’s diet.”


Per the “American Gut Health Project” — the single largest study of the human microbiome to date.

Someone Said To Eat More Diversity of Plants? DONE ✅ 😉

You heard Dr. B’s bottom-line advice, above. When we first read Fiber Fueled, we couldn’t help noticing that a super-wide diversity of whole plant foods — berries, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, mushrooms, greens, herbs — is exactly what LeafSide delivers, when we first designed our meals around the highest standard (the most evidence-based) in the whole food plant based world, aka Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen.

So we looked for a new way, to explain the unique healthy power of every LeafSide meal.  It comes down to this: Each meal delivers a wider variety of unprocessed whole plant foods (15 to 30, averaging over 20), than you could find in any other meal out there, whether in the grocery store, drive-thru, or shipped:


This unique combination is what makes every LeafSide meal so nourishing, satisfying, and energizing — because your body, AND your microbiome, get everything they need to thrive, and then some!

And if you eat even a few different LeafSide meals per week, you EASILY EXCEED the guideline Dr. B shared from the American Gut Health research, to eat at least 30 different whole plant foods per week, for optimal microbiome function.

It’s also what drives all the amazing longer-term health stories we hear from LeafSiders all over the country too — and we’ll have more to share about those soon.

BTW, Did You Miss the Sun’s Memo? 🌞

Last month we alerted all our loyal LeafSiders about a surprising and vital new scientific understanding, on the importance of sunlight for our health; in particular, infrared sunlight (the ultraviolet sunlight, we should still minimize exposure to). 😎

If you missed that, we promise it’ll be worth your 5 minutes, to learn why taking a vitamin D pill (still a good idea) won’t replace the absolute need to go outside and catch some full-spectrum sunlight.

Baked Lentil Mushroom Burgers

Get Even More From Your LeafSide Meals

We’re steadily growing our suite of LeafSide “meal-mods” so you get more fun and variety from your meals, not to mention more nutrition and value.

  • Serve 4-6 people with 1 LeafSide Pack and a few ingredients to make a picture-perfect, mouth-watering meal, often with just 10-15 minutes of easy prep.
  • Cut the time you spend shopping and cooking by 90%

As an example of LeafSider favorites for warmer weather, did you see our Classic Summer Trio? Burgers, Brownies, and Nice Cream, all 100% whole food plant-based, thus perfect for pool-side guilt-free indulgence — for you, yours, and your microbiome friends. 👩‍🍳

Thank You!  🙌

Thank you for being on the LeafSide, and for choosing food that makes a difference — for you and yours, for the animals, and for our one planet Earth. 🌻 🌎

Please feel free to contact us at any time with your questions or feedback; it’s with your help that we’re making the plant-based revolution happen!