Whether it’s peeking out at us from the shelves of Erewhon or popping up on our IG feeds, these days it seems as though there’s always a new wellness product vying for our attention. Recently, we’ve been focusing a lot on discernment and trying to get better at picking up the practices, products, and ideologies that are resonant and leaving the rest. And honestly, at times it’s challenging. Fancy branding (we’re a sucker for a good aesthetic), or a new superfood we’ve heard is doing the rounds, really do their best to make us feel as though our health and self-care depends on this latest trend. To help us separate the aligned from the fads, we’ve started setting ourselves up with a little checklist and if it’s not ticking these boxes, it’s not making the cut.

Discernment Checklist:

  1. Clean Ingredients: Organic and non-GMO are an obvious must but it’s also about label checking to ensure that nothing artificial has also snuck in there.
  2. Ethically Minded: From the ingredients to labor practices to inclusivity, we’re supporting the companies that put this at the forefront of their business model. Fortunately, with a little research, we can almost always find a brand that prioritizes this — no matter the category.
  3. Backed by Science or Research: Clinically proven studies can really help identify if a wellness product is worth trying. However, we’d also include the research of ancient healing practices in this category. From Ayurveda to East Asian Medicine to Herbalism, these modalities have been around for centuries and we’d argue that their longevity is due to their efficacy. Plus, science is now also verifying their legitimacy.
  4. Fills a Need in Our Personal Practice: Although some products may tick all the above boxes, we’ve been asking ourselves do we really need it? If nightly yin yoga is helping us slip into a sound sleep, do we really need to add blue light reducing glasses? Maybe yes, maybe no. The point is to ensure we’re adding in things that solve problems, not create them for us. For example, if the belief that we have to try a new trend is actually causing us anxiety rather than helping us heal an issue, it’s a no.

Recently, when wellness brand kencko reached out to us, we were given the opportunity to put our Discernment Checklist to the test. Kencko transforms fresh, organic fruits and veggies into single-serving powdered smoothies. They say each one gives the same nutritional benefits as 2 cups of fresh produce and all you need to do is add water or a plant-based milk. Because we’ve been in this wellness game for a minute, initially, we were a little skeptical.

However, after diving deeper, we were actually amazed by their smoothies and their level of integrity. Powdered fruits and vegetables, who knew?

Here’s how kencko passed our quality control:

1. Clean Ingredients:

Powdered fruits and vegetables sound rife with opportunities to add in an artificial thickener, flavor, or preservative. But kencko’s “only organic produce” claim happens to be true.

There are no added colors, flavor enhancers, fillers, sugars, or artificial sweeteners — literally it’s just plants.

The only difference is that they’ve taken the water out. If like us, you were thinking surely this removes the nutrients…surprisingly, that’s also not the case. Kencko smoothies pack the same vitamin density as fruit and veg in their original form. Kencko’s process takes nutritious and organic produce fresh from farms, uses a flash-freezing technique that keeps the vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates, and protein intact, then gently heats the produce to remove the water content. Once you get your head around it, it actually makes a lot of sense.

2. Ethically Minded:

One of the things we loved most about kencko was the way it addresses the accessibility issue. Only 1 in 10 US adults eats the recommended minimum of 5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day. Sometimes that issue is due to food deserts and sometimes education. Kencko aims to tackle both these problems by supplying high quality, nutritious plant-based foods in a way that is convenient and can reach a greater number of people than traditional produce avenues.

They’re also incredibly innovative. While you may originally balk at the idea of powdered fruits and veg thinking surely that’s unnecessary, or this clearly screams fad, it’s actually bigger than that. One of the reasons kencko came to be was to tackle food waste. Every year, almost half of the world’s fresh fruits and vegetables are thrown out, creating more greenhouse gas emissions than most countries.

Kencko captures the nutrients of fresh produce in a shelf-stable form, reducing spoilage in the supply chain, and helping consumers to waste less.

Their packaging is also compostable and their shipping is carbon neutral. Kencko’s commitment to sustainability is also backed up by their B-Corp™ certification that holds them to the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

3. Backed by Science or Research:

Conventional medicine and alternative health therapies can often disagree. However, there’s one universal healing principle that nobody’s debating: a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is essential to good health. Honestly, at this point there’s not even really a need for science or research to validate the general merits of incorporating produce into our nutrition. But if you’re keen to geek out on the specifics of each fruit and vegetable from the power of a kiwi fruit to lower blood pressure to maqui berries ability to support eye health, kencko provides links to evidence based studies on all their ingredients. Kencko also ​​shares a number of reputable papers from Harvard to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences that detail the potency of freeze-drying techniques.

4. Fills a Need in Our Personal Practice:

We sat on this one and gave it some serious consideration before deciding if kencko was relevant to us. We’re pretty diligent with our health, are generally on top of our nutrition, we have access to farmers markets, and do our best to blend our own smoothies. However, we discovered that we’re also modern people living busy lives and that despite our best intentions to meet our daily fruit and veg quota, there are times (like a lot of times) that the benefit of having a kencko mint greens mental focus sachet in our bag has been a game (and brain changer). Plus, the true joy of not having to repeatedly wash a blender definitely lifted our spirits. We also utilized their complimentary consultation with a personal nutrition coach. Normally valued at $300, kencko includes this with every subscription and we definitely learned things about gaps in our nutrient intake.

So, there you have it. According to our own internal vetting process, we’re pretty big fans of kencko.

If you’ve gone through your own personal checklist and feel kencko may also have a place in your health and wellbeing routine, we’re proud to offer 10% off your kencko order, use code THEFULLEST at checkout.

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