Most dieters begin their journey with the end-goal of body image in mind. Recently, however, there has been a shift in perception around the way dieting makes you feel, opposed to how it makes you look–something that Sakara Life’s co-founders took into consideration when launching their clean eating, meal delivery service.
Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise launched Sakara Life with the vision of reshaping how society views food. They think that food should be “thy medicine,” focusing a balanced, organic meal plan around whole foods and a plant-rich diet. The concept originally stemmed from the founders’ own need for fresh, organic, yet also, convenient meals, and in creating the ultimate meal plan for their lifestyle, they realized they designed a plan that more people should live by–plant-based, gluten-free, and GMO-free meals to nourish your body, mind and soul.
From the wellness benefits of Sakara Life, to dieting dilemmas, and foods that are surprisingly deceiving, we got Danielle and Whitney to answer some of our burning questions surrounding clean eating.
What is the biggest challenge about having to give up certain foods?
The Sakara Life is a lifestyle, not a diet. That means it’s all about balance, not restriction and guilt. We’re the first ones to reach for the martinis and French fries on Saturday night! By eating clean most of the time, we can afford a splurge every now and then.
Instead of thinking about giving up foods, we focus more on all the amazing plant foods we DO eat. Plus, there’s really nothing we “can’t” eat—we choose to eat this way because we want to, not because we think we have to. And Sakara meals are so delicious, it never feels like a chore to eat our veggies.
Is there a popular health food you haven’t found to be as effective as its made out to be?
Juice cleanses were all the rage for the longest time, but eating whole foods is so much better for you! Juicing removes all the fiber, leaving just the sugar behind, so there’s nothing to keep your blood sugar stable. Also, a lot of people think Greek yogurt is a great health food, but there are better ways to get your gut-friendly probiotics—we love fermented veggies like sauerkraut and kimchi!
Is there an unpopular health food that you think deserves more spotlight?
The most important thing you can do for your health is to eat your greens! Our program includes 4 to 6 cups of leafy greens per day. It’s essential for digestion, detoxification, clear skin, lowering inflammation and preventing disease. You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it! (Our delicious meals make it easy to like it, though!)
Danielle, what were the type of meals you were designing when you first started meal planning for yourself?
From the very beginning of Sakara (when we were making the food ourselves in our tiny apartment kitchens!), the meals have focused on high-quality, colorful, fresh, organic plant ingredients and powerful superfoods from around the world.
Whitney, I know your personal struggle with acne and stress was a wake up call for your eating habits, what was the final realization that food was a huge factor in this equation?
I had tried everything from Accutane to acupuncture to cure my cystic acne (which I developed while working in the high-stress world of Wall Street) and when I was told the only solution the dermatologists had to help me was another round of Accutane or a mega-dose of antibiotics (that kills both good and bad bacteria in my body), I decided to take my health into my own hands and went on search to find the root cause of my acne instead of just putting a Band-Aid on the symptoms.
Do you have any advice for an individual who hasn’t been able to find time in their schedule to dedicate to a movement or exercise routine?
We always say that the equation to building your best body is 80% nutrition, 20% exercise and 100% what you think and believe to be true. In fact, that’s the foundation of our 4-week Best Body Challenge, which is designed to help you create your best body for summer! We know that people are busy and don’t have time to work out (neither do we!), so we worked with Nike Master Trainer Kirsty Godso to create a month-long workout routine for the challenge. It incorporates daily mini-workouts that are quick, but super effective. You can do them anywhere, with no equipment required!
How have you seen clean eating affect the inner beauty, as much as the outer?
True beauty comes from within! Your microbiome—the ecosystem of bacteria in your body, concentrated in your gut—controls everything from your skin to your digestion to your sex drive (seriously!). Processed foods, refined sugar and animal products can increase inflammation, cause blood sugar spikes, throw your hormones out of whack and dehydrate the body, resulting in dull skin and breakouts. When your gut is healthy, your skin is clear! We call it “eating pretty” and it involves lots of leafy greens, healthy fats, plant fiber and colorful, youth-promoting antioxidants.
Another secret to the Sakara glow is eating your water! Hydration is essential for plump cells and a youthful complexion. By eating water-rich fresh produce (think romaine lettuce, watermelon, cucumber…) the water is able to stay in your body longer because it’s bound up within a fibrous structure. The result is deep, sustained cellular hydration and beautiful skin!
What is a way you nourish your creativity?
By getting out of our comfort zone as often as possible. That’s how you stimulate growth and change! The Best Body Challenge also includes weekly signature Light Work “assignments” that are designed to help you tap into your powers of visualization and manifestation and overcome the spiritual obstacles that are holding you back. It’s a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
Who in your life do you draw inspiration from?
To learn more about Sakara Life or try a trial subscription, visit sakara.com.