LeafSide FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

We’re here to help you be more successful with a whole-foods plant-based lifestyle, and your questions are what drive us to improve and create amazing products.

Have a question not listed here? Feel free to ask us at [email protected] and we’ll be sure to reply ASAP.

Getting Started

After 37+ combined years of living a plant-based lifestyle and helping others do it too, we’ve learned that the #1 reason many people aren’t successful with a whole foods plant-based diet, is that they don’t have the expertise, time, and energy to do everything themselves.

LeafSide meals solve this with 3 compelling advantages versus doing it yourself:

  1. No Work — We’ve removed all the hours of reading about nutrition, shopping, ingredient micro-management, cutting, washing, and cleaning — so you get the amazing health benefits of eating whole plant-based superfoods, without any real effort.
  2. Complete Nutrition — We stay abreast of the latest and most credible nutrition science per the Daily Dozen food guidelines from Dr. Michael Greger’s global bestseller, How Not To Die. Any one LeafSide meal eaten on its own gives you at least 9 Daily Dozen servings, of the best foods known to science.
  3. No Compromise — We’ve gotten so used to trade-offs in food, we expect convenient foods to be unhealthy, and healthy food to take a lot of time or cost a lot. No more! With LeafSide meals, you get complete, 100% whole foods plant-based meals with organic ingredients, ready in minutes with almost no effort, and easily stored and moved to wherever and whenever you’re hungry.

We’re long-time DIY/cooks ourselves, and there are still many times when we’re short on time or energy to make something healthy to eat, e.g. after an intense workout, or during or after a long workday.  Traveling is another context where a shelf-stable LeafSide savory-bowl or stir-bowl comes in very handy.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
37
0

Because LeafSide meal packs only use dried ingredients, and because we use the drying technique that best preserves the nutrients of fruits and vegetables: freeze-drying. We never use any kind of preservatives. A meal pack’s expiration is thus set by the soonest expiring ingredients, and typically those are nuts, with 6 months as the lower limit (some nuts last longer).

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
49
1

Freeze-drying food has a long history, possibly more than a thousand years old, as peoples living near mountains would leave produce out in favorable locations, where the combination of cold temperatures and high altitudes (lower pressure) would enable the water in foods to freeze, then sublimate, i.e. the water in the food changes from ice to evaporated gas, without passing through the liquid form. The low-water-content food left behind would be much lighter, still resemble the original food (especially with the original colors and thus nutrients), and last much longer.

Modern freeze-drying starts with the frozen produce (just like in supermarket freezers), then puts it in a large vacuum chamber, where the frozen water inside the food sublimates under controlled conditions. The resulting freeze-dried foods are lightweight, retain the original colors and tastes, don’t spoil for years, and most importantly, retain the macronutrients, micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and phytonutrients remarkably well. Studies have shown that freeze-dried foods often retain over 90% of the original fresh food’s nutrition, much more than other drying techniques (air-drying, heat-drying) which usually damage micronutrients and phytonutrients — as easily seen by the large changes in the food’s colors.

Like frozen food, freeze-dried foods are first harvested at peak ripeness to have better taste and nutrients. But typical store-bought “fresh” fruits and vegetables are harvested early, artificially ripened, and lose up to half of their nutrient value sitting in the fridge.

Freeze-dried food has long been consumed by people in demanding contexts like mountaineering and space flights, where lightweight and high nutrition food is absolutely essential. But you don’t need to be an astronaut to benefit from its convenience and super nutrition!

A broad review of freeze-dried foods vs other drying methods, in preserving antioxidants and phytonutrients: A Review on the Effect of Drying on Antioxidant Potential of Fruits and Vegetables (2016)

Typical studies on fresh vs frozen nutrition include: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157517300418 and https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1999.tb15943.x

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
23
0

Due to the low moisture content of our meals, and the use of 100% plant-based ingredients, they remain stable for at least 3-6 months if stored in a dry, cool place. We currently list a “best by” date with a 3 month time limit, and after we’ve finished independent laboratory testing we’ll likely extend this by up to an additional 3 months. 

Typically the limiting factor are any nuts used in the meal; if you want to extend the storage duration, you can put a pack in the fridge, just as storing nuts in the fridge will help add several months of shelf life.

Our meals contain no extra preservatives or additives! Many of our ingredients are shelf-stable due to a special freeze-drying process that removes the moisture content from the whole plant-based foods. This helps maximize the nutrient content and keep the ingredients safe to consume without adding any unnatural preservatives or extra ingredients to our products.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
30
0

We’re currently based in Tempe, Arizona, and that’s where our meal packs are made. All ingredients — organic and conventional — are from USA vendors, and in particular, all organic ingredients are USDA certified organic.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
39
0

Yes!  Each pack contains a full meal portion, averaging around 500 kCal up to 690 kCal (“calories”).

Because our meals are made from real whole plant-based foods, they have lots of nutrition and fiber, and will keep you feeling full and ready for demanding work or play, typically for 4 to 5 hours. 

Our meals pack a lot of food, so many LeafSiders just set their smoothie or stir-bowl down at their desk and “graze” slowly on the food, for over an hour or more, enjoying the steady and sustained energy they feel.  Or they share a meal with family members. 

It’s also easy to “extend” a single meal into something that feeds multiple people, e.g. some LeafSiders have used the Tex-Mex as a chili to pour on top of sweet potatoes; or they use a soup with sprouted bread or tortilla chips; or they add frozen fruit to a smoothie to serve two; or they gather a few leftover veggies from the fridge and toss those into a smoothie or soup, etc. etc.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
43
0

It’s entirely up to you.  We’ve designed our meals so that just eating one will deliver plenty of plant-based nutrition, at least nine Daily Dozen serving units, from the global bestselling book How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Dr. Michael Greger.

Typically our customers lead busy lives and they use LeafSide meals whenever they don’t have time or desire to prepare something, like in the morning before commuting; for lunch during crunch time; or for an easy, satisfying dinner ready in minutes.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
31
0

Smoothies are the only type of LeafSide meal needing a blender.  Fortunately you don’t need an expensive blender, though it should be high-powered (800+ Watts motor) so that ingredients like whole flaxseeds are cracked open for good digestion; and the blender container should be at least 32 oz (4 cups, about 1 quart or 1 liter)  in size, so that there’s enough space to blend well.

The blender we use and highly recommend is the Nutribullet Pro, aka 900 (900 Watt), available from Walmart.com or Amazon for usually $75 to $99 — a price that’s usually cheaper than directly from the Nutribullet website.  It’s easy to use, has sufficient power, and is very quick and easy to clean, saving you time and effort:

One more important reason we recommend the Nutribullet Pro blender is that the personal sized 32 oz “colossal mugs” are the perfect size for making our smoothies and taking them to go. Also, you can affordably buy extra mugs for everyone (at home or office) to have their own, and you can get them for only $10 each at Walmart.com.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
21
0

Yes, all LeafSide meals have been designed with expert chefs to be made by just adding (hot) water.  The amounts and temperature of water needed are specified on the back-label instructions of each pack, ranging from 1 to 2.5 cups of water.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
15
0

Yes! Although we designed all the meals to taste good with just water, some LeafSiders like to add plant-based milks like almond, rice, oat, hemp, or coconut milk (particularly to the smoothies). Those will give the meals a richer and creamier flavor, along with adding extra calories one may want and need, e.g. after a workout.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
18
0

Our soups and stir-bowls (savory and sweet-bowls) have been designed to be placed into a small pot or bowl (minimum volume 1 quart, or 1 liter, or 4.5 cups), and then have hot water added.  For best results, stir the contents thoroughly, then cover them for the time shown on the package instructions, for complete re-hydration. That’s all there is to it; after 7-10 minutes you can eat a delicious and nourishing meal!

Don’t have such a pot/bowl handy? We’ve tried and like using this small, lightweight bowl+lid available on Amazon:

It’s a good item, but not perfect: the lid isn’t quite tight enough that you can fill it with hot water, close it, and safely put it in a bag as you head out the door. But for stationary soup or stir-bowl making at your counter, desk, hotel room, etc. it works well.

If you also want total portability, eating tasty WFPB meals anytime and anywhere during the day, another solution is to put a soup or stir-bowl pack in a real thermos (with a tight screw-on or locking lid) with the required amount of hot water, then seal and shake — it’s safe and ready for travels.

Hot water is usually available on planes and trains, in hotels, etc.  For home or office, the easiest way we’ve found to get hot water quickly is with an inexpensive electric kettle (see below), although using a microwave to heat water beforehand also works.

 

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
36
0

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Getting Started

After 37+ combined years of living a plant-based lifestyle and helping others do it too, we’ve learned that the #1 reason many people aren’t successful with a whole foods plant-based diet, is that they don’t have the expertise, time, and energy to do everything themselves.

LeafSide meals solve this with 3 compelling advantages versus doing it yourself:

  1. No Work — We’ve removed all the hours of reading about nutrition, shopping, ingredient micro-management, cutting, washing, and cleaning — so you get the amazing health benefits of eating whole plant-based superfoods, without any real effort.
  2. Complete Nutrition — We stay abreast of the latest and most credible nutrition science per the Daily Dozen food guidelines from Dr. Michael Greger’s global bestseller, How Not To Die. Any one LeafSide meal eaten on its own gives you at least 9 Daily Dozen servings, of the best foods known to science.
  3. No Compromise — We’ve gotten so used to trade-offs in food, we expect convenient foods to be unhealthy, and healthy food to take a lot of time or cost a lot. No more! With LeafSide meals, you get complete, 100% whole foods plant-based meals with organic ingredients, ready in minutes with almost no effort, and easily stored and moved to wherever and whenever you’re hungry.

We’re long-time DIY/cooks ourselves, and there are still many times when we’re short on time or energy to make something healthy to eat, e.g. after an intense workout, or during or after a long workday.  Traveling is another context where a shelf-stable LeafSide savory-bowl or stir-bowl comes in very handy.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
37
0

Because LeafSide meal packs only use dried ingredients, and because we use the drying technique that best preserves the nutrients of fruits and vegetables: freeze-drying. We never use any kind of preservatives. A meal pack’s expiration is thus set by the soonest expiring ingredients, and typically those are nuts, with 6 months as the lower limit (some nuts last longer).

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
49
1

Freeze-drying food has a long history, possibly more than a thousand years old, as peoples living near mountains would leave produce out in favorable locations, where the combination of cold temperatures and high altitudes (lower pressure) would enable the water in foods to freeze, then sublimate, i.e. the water in the food changes from ice to evaporated gas, without passing through the liquid form. The low-water-content food left behind would be much lighter, still resemble the original food (especially with the original colors and thus nutrients), and last much longer.

Modern freeze-drying starts with the frozen produce (just like in supermarket freezers), then puts it in a large vacuum chamber, where the frozen water inside the food sublimates under controlled conditions. The resulting freeze-dried foods are lightweight, retain the original colors and tastes, don’t spoil for years, and most importantly, retain the macronutrients, micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and phytonutrients remarkably well. Studies have shown that freeze-dried foods often retain over 90% of the original fresh food’s nutrition, much more than other drying techniques (air-drying, heat-drying) which usually damage micronutrients and phytonutrients — as easily seen by the large changes in the food’s colors.

Like frozen food, freeze-dried foods are first harvested at peak ripeness to have better taste and nutrients. But typical store-bought “fresh” fruits and vegetables are harvested early, artificially ripened, and lose up to half of their nutrient value sitting in the fridge.

Freeze-dried food has long been consumed by people in demanding contexts like mountaineering and space flights, where lightweight and high nutrition food is absolutely essential. But you don’t need to be an astronaut to benefit from its convenience and super nutrition!

A broad review of freeze-dried foods vs other drying methods, in preserving antioxidants and phytonutrients: A Review on the Effect of Drying on Antioxidant Potential of Fruits and Vegetables (2016)

Typical studies on fresh vs frozen nutrition include: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157517300418 and https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1999.tb15943.x

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
23
0

Due to the low moisture content of our meals, and the use of 100% plant-based ingredients, they remain stable for at least 3-6 months if stored in a dry, cool place. We currently list a “best by” date with a 3 month time limit, and after we’ve finished independent laboratory testing we’ll likely extend this by up to an additional 3 months. 

Typically the limiting factor are any nuts used in the meal; if you want to extend the storage duration, you can put a pack in the fridge, just as storing nuts in the fridge will help add several months of shelf life.

Our meals contain no extra preservatives or additives! Many of our ingredients are shelf-stable due to a special freeze-drying process that removes the moisture content from the whole plant-based foods. This helps maximize the nutrient content and keep the ingredients safe to consume without adding any unnatural preservatives or extra ingredients to our products.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
30
0

We’re currently based in Tempe, Arizona, and that’s where our meal packs are made. All ingredients — organic and conventional — are from USA vendors, and in particular, all organic ingredients are USDA certified organic.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
39
0

Yes!  Each pack contains a full meal portion, averaging around 500 kCal up to 690 kCal (“calories”).

Because our meals are made from real whole plant-based foods, they have lots of nutrition and fiber, and will keep you feeling full and ready for demanding work or play, typically for 4 to 5 hours. 

Our meals pack a lot of food, so many LeafSiders just set their smoothie or stir-bowl down at their desk and “graze” slowly on the food, for over an hour or more, enjoying the steady and sustained energy they feel.  Or they share a meal with family members. 

It’s also easy to “extend” a single meal into something that feeds multiple people, e.g. some LeafSiders have used the Tex-Mex as a chili to pour on top of sweet potatoes; or they use a soup with sprouted bread or tortilla chips; or they add frozen fruit to a smoothie to serve two; or they gather a few leftover veggies from the fridge and toss those into a smoothie or soup, etc. etc.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
43
0

It’s entirely up to you.  We’ve designed our meals so that just eating one will deliver plenty of plant-based nutrition, at least nine Daily Dozen serving units, from the global bestselling book How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Dr. Michael Greger.

Typically our customers lead busy lives and they use LeafSide meals whenever they don’t have time or desire to prepare something, like in the morning before commuting; for lunch during crunch time; or for an easy, satisfying dinner ready in minutes.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
31
0

Smoothies are the only type of LeafSide meal needing a blender.  Fortunately you don’t need an expensive blender, though it should be high-powered (800+ Watts motor) so that ingredients like whole flaxseeds are cracked open for good digestion; and the blender container should be at least 32 oz (4 cups, about 1 quart or 1 liter)  in size, so that there’s enough space to blend well.

The blender we use and highly recommend is the Nutribullet Pro, aka 900 (900 Watt), available from Walmart.com or Amazon for usually $75 to $99 — a price that’s usually cheaper than directly from the Nutribullet website.  It’s easy to use, has sufficient power, and is very quick and easy to clean, saving you time and effort:

One more important reason we recommend the Nutribullet Pro blender is that the personal sized 32 oz “colossal mugs” are the perfect size for making our smoothies and taking them to go. Also, you can affordably buy extra mugs for everyone (at home or office) to have their own, and you can get them for only $10 each at Walmart.com.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
21
0

Yes, all LeafSide meals have been designed with expert chefs to be made by just adding (hot) water.  The amounts and temperature of water needed are specified on the back-label instructions of each pack, ranging from 1 to 2.5 cups of water.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
15
0

Yes! Although we designed all the meals to taste good with just water, some LeafSiders like to add plant-based milks like almond, rice, oat, hemp, or coconut milk (particularly to the smoothies). Those will give the meals a richer and creamier flavor, along with adding extra calories one may want and need, e.g. after a workout.

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
18
0

Our soups and stir-bowls (savory and sweet-bowls) have been designed to be placed into a small pot or bowl (minimum volume 1 quart, or 1 liter, or 4.5 cups), and then have hot water added.  For best results, stir the contents thoroughly, then cover them for the time shown on the package instructions, for complete re-hydration. That’s all there is to it; after 7-10 minutes you can eat a delicious and nourishing meal!

Don’t have such a pot/bowl handy? We’ve tried and like using this small, lightweight bowl+lid available on Amazon:

It’s a good item, but not perfect: the lid isn’t quite tight enough that you can fill it with hot water, close it, and safely put it in a bag as you head out the door. But for stationary soup or stir-bowl making at your counter, desk, hotel room, etc. it works well.

If you also want total portability, eating tasty WFPB meals anytime and anywhere during the day, another solution is to put a soup or stir-bowl pack in a real thermos (with a tight screw-on or locking lid) with the required amount of hot water, then seal and shake — it’s safe and ready for travels.

Hot water is usually available on planes and trains, in hotels, etc.  For home or office, the easiest way we’ve found to get hot water quickly is with an inexpensive electric kettle (see below), although using a microwave to heat water beforehand also works.

 

Category: Getting Started
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
36
0

Load More