A while back I shared my thoughts on whether vegans need supplements with the help of macrobiotic expert Christina Pirello. I’ve always thought a lot about vitamins—probably more than most normal people do! Because here’s the thing: I want to get all my nutrition directly from the whole foods I eat, right? And I know that eating like a superhero is giving me everything I need and then some (except for B12—which almost nobody is getting enough of—and Vitamin D—which is really only when I hole up in front of a computer instead of getting out in the sunshine). But, my mind always comes back to this: What if you need a little safety net? Something to make 100% sure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need when life happens and you find yourself without access to greens and other goodness every day?
This first came to mind when I was pregnant with Bear. My midwife confirmed that I was pumping all kinds of healthy awesomeness to my baby, but she recommended taking a prenatal as an “insurance policy.” After all, sometimes I’d be traveling or working crazy hours, and even though I’d be eating kind, I wasn’t always able to take it to that supercharged, superhero next level.
So I set out to find the perfect vitamin—one that was vegan, whole food-based (as in derived entirely and naturally from foods), GMO-free, and certified organic. Turns out that was no simple task! I could find vegan-friendly options, but they wouldn’t be whole food-based. Some vitamins claimed to be nothing but whole foods, but in reality included binders, fillers, and other synthetics. What?! That’s like saying your broccoli is nothing but broccoli and then sneaking in some hydrogenated soybean oil. Gross!
Unfortunately, as I found time and time again, the vitamin market is just like the processed food racket: producers can market themselves as “natural” without meeting any major criteria. Seriously—they can make that claim even though the “natural” sources come from GMO’s, include artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and on and on. They can also pile a whole bunch of chemical isolates and synthetic fillers in there, put a pretty green leaf on the label, and call it a day. Some companies have tried their best to keep it as natural as possible, but I’ve learned the process of making vitamins from organic fruits, veggies, and herbs is slow and expensive. mykind Organics is really an important innovation for these reasons. This is the first multivitamin to achieve this certified organic seal of approval, and the first to use patent-pending Clean Tablet Technology!
If you’ve been led to believe that vitamins need all those chemical synthetic binders and fillers and can’t be made with nothing but real foods, think again! Binders and fillers are the glues to speed up the production process because they help keep vitamins from sticking to the production equipment and can be used for aesthetic reasons (color, shape, sheen, etc). The cheap chemicals commonly used are often hydrolyzed, fractionated stearates and other undesirable synthetics. In addition to these additives being unnatural and unhealthy, many have not been adequately studied or even labeled correctly (so beware of allergic reactions!) even for the well-intentioned since most companies don’t know how to make vitamins without these artificial fillers and binders.
Throughout this tiresome research to seek a pure and wholesome vitamin, my brain really started to hurt! How was it that products meant to be the very essence of plants and their nutrients continually stray so far from that? I realized that if I wanted a truly great vitamin option, I was going to have to make it myself! I was determined to give pregnant women a real safety net for their nutrition during this crucial time—whether they just wanted the extra insurance or they didn’t eat like superheroes. Then, when I dove into the project, I had another realization: Everyone deserves this, not just the pregos!
So I teamed up with Garden of Life, a wonderful company with standout sustainability initiatives and the leaders in Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified nutrition. Together, we created mykind Organics, an entirely new kind of multi that is Certified USDA organic, non-GMO-verified and free of synthetic binders and fillers. That’s right—made with whole foods and love! Selfishly, I’m over the moon about these products! I can use them whenever I’m traveling or making less than ideal food choices on the run, whether it’s a spritz of B-12 or the occasional multi. I’m so excited that this dream has become a reality and that mykind Organics are now available at all major health food stores and retailers such as The Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods, EarthFare and Sprouts. And most of all, I’m happy that I could save all of you the hard work involved in finding the best multivitamins. Enjoy!