Upshoot was inspired by passion and heart, with a vision to help people and the planet. At the helm of it all is Lourdes Ahn, who was recently announced as the healthy lifestyle company’s CEO. “The Upshoot mission of making plant-powered nutrition accessible to all is very near and dear to my heart,” she says, “and it’s the right time for it.” 

We sat down with Lourdes to hear the inspiration behind Upshoot and why their mission is so important today.

Lourdes, you’ve assembled a very experienced executive team to introduce Upshoot’s vision and mission. So, why Upshoot…and why now?

That’s an important question. There’s a growing trend of people becoming more health conscious – not just about what they’re putting into their bodies but about how what they’re eating is affecting the rest of the world.

We’re also seeing a significant market shift, where people are moving away from food that can hurt the environment, to food that is better for the planet—and better for themselves.

Meanwhile, people are changing the way they feel about plants and nutrition; they’re seeing it is almost as a healing thing, where what they put inside of them essentially becomes part of them.

And that’s what Upshoot is all about.

We met this great man, Joe Cross, who lived it, who experienced it, who showed the rest of the world that food is transformational. And so, meeting with Joe and getting this great group together as part of our Upshoot Executive team was perfect timing to make great products, with great programs we can bring to the whole United States.

Why are so many people struggling to get the recommended daily 5 servings of fruits and veggies in their every day?

Only 1 out of 10 people is getting their 5-a-day. People know they should eat their fruits and veggies. I know it, you know it. Our parents told us. Their parents told them. But it’s just a real struggle. 

For example, sometimes it comes down to lack of access to fruits and vegetables. They don’t know what to buy or where to buy.

Sometimes it’s a matter of convenience. They’re a busy mom or busy student. Or, they’re running around at work all day. Many don’t have the time to think about cooking or preparing foods.

There are also costs. It’s not only about being able to buy organic or natural foods; it’s also about storing them or sometimes they go to waste. 

There’s a growing trend of people becoming more health conscious – not just about what they’re putting into their bodies but about how what they’re eating is affecting the rest of the world.

Taste and texture also matter. People sometimes think, “Oh, if it’s healthy, it won’t taste good.” So, we had overcome that as well. And then there’s a general negative association with fruits and vegetables many people have. Some of us have heard the saying growing up: Eat your veggies or you’re not leaving the table. Or, we’ve said, Oh, I’m going to go on a diet, so I won’t be able to eat the food that I like and instead eat the food that is good for me, like vegetables. 

Also, getting the right amounts of fruits and veggies can be confusing for a lot of people.  What is an actual serving of a fruit or vegetable? How many grapes make up one serving of fruit? We found that some just don’t know. 

For any of these reasons, eating fruits and vegetables is not always the most positive experience, so that’s why 90% of people rarely get enough. My team has done a lot of research on the ‘why’ part of that and how we can solve it. It’s why we don’t just sell products; we sell programs that help people use those products. One of the reasons behind those programs is to help people navigate through difficult times. 

How is Upshoot starting to solve that?

We took all that into consideration and created programs and products that make getting your 5-a-day a lot easier. For example, we tell you how many servings of fruits and vegetables you’re going to get with each of our four Phytopúr products

We’ve made it very convenient and flexible so that no matter your lifestyle, you can add fruits and veggies to your everyday—on-the-go wherever and whenever. We’ve removed the preparation and storage hassles that often deter people and made it so that you literally just add water (or coconut water or nut milk) and enjoy. 

And most importantly, we made our shakes, smoothies, super drinks and soups delicious so that people fall in love not just with the benefits of nutritious foods but with the entire plant-powered experience.

To learn more about Upshoot’s programs, Phytopuúr products and community, visit upshoot.life and connect on social media @upshootlife.