Let's face it: cooking healthy meals at the end of a long work-from-home day (in the current state of the world) is at the bottom of our likely-to-do lists — but, it may be the exact thing we need most. If there's one lesson lockdown has taught us (besides the fact that sitting for 8-hour increments in tight denim is uncomfortable), it's that our bodies and our budgets cannot survive on takeout alone. For me, rediscovering cooking nutritious food has become a vital part of my quarantine routine — one that I actually look forward to most nights as a fun(!) activity. (You know you're getting old when Friday's consist of meal prep instead of bar hopping.) This is where Sakara Life comes into play: aka one of those Goop-adjacent meal programs I've spotted across fancy influencers' and off-duty models' social-media feeds and finally decided to try myself.
The chic company is an all-natural food subscription service that delivers plant-based, organic, and vividly-hued clean ingredients to your doorstep — many of which you've probably never heard of (even as a six-year vegan, I was stumped). Founder's Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise's approach focuses on nine pillars of nutrition: ranging from "eating" your water to embracing good fats and leading a calorie-counting-free lifestyle. But it was one pillar in particular that compelled me: "One of our favorite pillars (if we had to choose). Eating enough greens (4–6 cups!) every single day is one of the secrets to getting that Sakara Glow. Greens are one of the most potent and powerful foods on the planet," and Sakara's meals come packed with them. So, with my tofu-soaked tongue itching for a little more variety, I signed up to test it out for a week. Join me on my gluten-free, rainbow-bowl journey below (complete with IRL snapshots) to find out if this luxurious meal-service is really worth all the hype — and if it actually made me glow.
How Are Sakara's Meals Delivered?
Late in the evening, with my serums sinking in and my silk scarf wrapped, I heard a slight knock at the door followed by my Yorkie's piercing yelps. The delivery had arrived — and it arrived in style. Talk about convenience! Sakara delivers directly to your front door, packaged in round recyclable containers carefully tucked below sealed bags of ice. You receive two orders during a 5-day meal plan, which arrive between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on your specified day of choice (mine arrived on a late Sunday evening).
How Are Sakara's Meals Prepared?
The entire menu is planned out by the company's team of experts and chefs, but the program still allows for personalization where subscribers can opt-out of potential allergens or particular ingredients they don't care for. The meals are complete breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that contain fresh organic ingredients like wildflower honey, Mizuna lettuce, and seed-crusted avocados — things that I previously breezed right past in my weekly Whole Foods strolls.
First, let's talk breakfast: these aren't your average milk-and-cereal combos — Sakara provides everything from sweet caramel-dripping muffins to cakes, granola medleys brimming with oat clusters, and sweet potato bowls that brought me into a full-on autumnal mood. Now, onto lunch: my favorite dish altogether was by far the pesto-pasta lunch — which consisted of five herbs and a creamy sauce that made me squeal. You can also opt-in to receive their ever-so-coveted Metabolism Powder: a chocolatey mix made from fancy things like black pepper piperine, antioxidants, and Ayurvedic herbs that promote digestion along with a natural dewy glow. Then, came dinner: my favorite dinner became a bowl made with purple cabbage and macadamia feta piled on top of earthy lentils, yellow beets, and sweet butternut squash — a vast list of ingredients I didn't think could taste so flavorful. (And yes, I do know how to season my food!) This just in; Sakara's newly released powder, the Super Greens Powder, features your daily dose of needed greens and plant-based protein all in a floral-covered package. It has a naturally sweet, mildly earthy flavor that mixes well with smoothies and blends into other recipes.
Over the course of five days, I consumed everything from things called "Balance Bowls" to a cobb salad made with coconut bacon. Yes, coconut bacon. I even tried Beauty Chocolates that tasted more like a treat than health food, while also indulging in Detox Bars (made with blue spirulina) that tasted of dark chocolate niblets. It felt like there was a personal chef in my small-apartment kitchen, whipping me up healthy, bright, and beautiful recipes while doling out glowing compliments.
How Much Does Sakara Cost?
It's hard to discuss Sakara Life without mentioning the steep price; this meal-delivery service is not that affordable. One single day of meals is about $110 (aka more than I would spend for a week of groceries at Trader Joe's). However, there are ways around this: Sakara is available on Afterpay and offers a variety of recipes on its website as well as inside its beautifully curated cookbook, 'Eat Clean, Play Dirty.' A good tip, if you want to try it out but don't want to commit to the budget-crushing price: order three-days' worth of lunches first. That way, you can continue the lifestyle with fun recipes on your own time that are mixed in with your own grocery budgets.
Is Sakara Worth It?
As a plant-based eater myself, I am no novice to fresh food and healthy ingredients. It's an expensive lifestyle that I personally find worth it after discovering my intolerance to dairy, gluten, and meat. But, Sakara Life changed the entire game for me. Although the price is steep and the recipes are tedious, my body has never felt better (and that's not an overstatement). I've been eating "clean" for years but, until these past five days, I've never felt so revitalized. TMI: I have horrid digestion issues that cannot be fixed with lemon water or coffee in the mornings SO it takes a lot for me to go like a normal human being. I initially had my doubts, but after a week of eating Sakara my bloat and constipation had completely disappeared, my skin looked dewy, and I woke up easily each morning — especially when I paired it all with the brand's bestselling probiotics.
As my brain fog dissipated and my stomach deflated, I finally understood this expensive meal program's worth. I felt like crying the day it ended and ended up purchasing a few more meals from the service myself — I also quickly carted the cookbook and started grocery shopping in a way more mindful way; instead of going to Whole Foods on a whim, I went with a list of fresh, colorful, and specific items to plan out my meals and pre-cook them during workweeks. I've told everyone I know about it, from the freshness to the packaging and the damn-good way I feel. I've been grocery shopping for fun and cooking things from scratch that I never imagined I'd have time for before. So, as my final takeaway: IF you spend a similar amount on groceries already and are looking for specific clean-ingredient options, THEN Sakara is worth it. If you'd rather save, I'd recommend the cookbook and taking away fundamental notes from its overall lifestyle plan. And, if you'd like to see how I'm continuing the Sakara life in my own not-a-fancy-off-duty-model-girl life, then follow along with my Instagram here.
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