Overview: Sakara Life

My original plan was to post each day of Sakara Life (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), but unfortunately my phone got replaced recently and failed to back up the last few photos I had on my other phone.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that I have a few photos left to share and some “last words” on the topic. First for the #eeeeeats… in no particular order.

Chocolate Love Muffin (Breakfast) – caramel (wildflower honey, almond butter, maple syrup, sea salt vanilla), crumb topping (oat flour, GF rolled oats, coconut milk, almond flour, coconut sugar, coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla, baking soda, salt, cinnamon), garnish: raspberries, muffin (cauliflower, coconut milk, maple syrup, almond flour, coconut sugar, garbanzo flour, coconut oil, brown rice flour, millet flour, buckwheat flour, raw cacao powder, balsamic vinegar, chia powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, xantham gum, salt, maca)

This was so good! I rarely eat baked goods for breakfast, but sometimes a treat (and a little chocolate) in the morning does a body good. With each meal that has a dressing/topping, they provide a lot of it. I rarely used all of the honey, dressing, sauce, etc.

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Sakara Earth Bowl (Dinner)– main (tricolor quinoa, beluga lentils), lotus root (lotus root, lemon juice, rice vinegar, tamari, black sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil), avocado (avocado, shelled hemp hearts, dulse), dressing (tahini, maple syrup, brown rice vinegar, tamari, dijon mustard ginger, black garlic, toasted sesame oil, cayenne pepper), garnish (mixed micro greens, watermelon radisn), salad (heirloom greens)

Every salad dressing they provided was amazing. I understand why they sell a separate sampler of all their dressings on their site. Also, their greens are flavorful and crisp. I’m definitely going to try and recreate some of their simpler meals like this one.

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Indian Spiced Samosas w/Sweet + Spicy Chutney (Lunch) – main (rice wrappers, baby kale, brown rice), filling (green peas, chickpeas, cashews, sunflower oil, carrots, baby kale, coconut flakes, white onion, turmeric root, seat salt, coriander seeds, cumin, mustard seeds, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom powder, cayenne pepper), garnish (coconut flakes), sauce (coconut milk, EVOO, pitted dates, lime juice, coconut oil, garlic, mint leaves, chillies, sea salt, ginger)

This was very different from anything that I would eat for lunch. Again, their flavors are incredible and dynamic. I followed their suggestion and heated this one up, which made it a lot more savory/less of a cold spring-roll type situation.

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Matcha Udon Bowl w/Yuzu Vinaigrette (Lunch) – dressing (yuzu, tamari, toasted sesame oil, sea salt, kochukanru), garnish (edible flower, white sesame seeds, shelled hemp hearts), greens (lacinato kale, shallots, EVOO, tamari, salt), noodles (brown rice noodles, toasted sesame oil, tamari, matcha green tea, white sesame seeds), salad (arugula, english cucumbers, watermelon radish)

I should’ve followed their advice and sautéed this. I think the dressing would’ve melded better with the arugula and noodles, but still delicious. Also, I learned about a new ingredients. Kochukaru is Korean chili powder. Sakara inspired by to pick up a bunch of new seasonings/things to make dressing with, such as tamari, walnut oil, sesame oil, and miso paste).

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Curry Bowl that I can’t find the description to… but I can tell you that it had broccoli, carrots, string beans, spinach, purple potatoes, wild rice, cabbage, and the curry sauce was made with coconut milk.

This was my favorite lunch by far. I love curry and lots of vegetables. If I were to eat a traditional curry, I think that I would be tired and sluggish after, but this one made me feel energized. I love how they use a variety of vegetables in each of their lunches and dinners, so I was never bored with what I was eating.

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What makes Sakara really special is their attention to detail. On each box, they write a sweet little note about the health benefits of a particular ingredient or how a certain dish originated. Reading a little about what I was about to eat reminded me to be cognizant and appreciative of what I was about to put into my body.

Additionally, the number of unusual ingredients they use in each dish to create complex and interesting flavors is astonishing. They could’ve just put raw Manuka honey with the chocolate muffin, but instead they made the effort to simulate a caramel flavor by using 5 different ingredients.

Changes I am going to make after what I learned on Sakara for a week:

  1. mostly vegetarian during the week and consuming wild fish, grass-fed meat, or certified humane eggs during the weekends
  2.  limiting snacks and eating three full meals a day
  3. sitting down and chewing without distractions
  4. adding lettuces to everything – greens, greens, greens!
  5. experiment with making my own interesting dressings

Review: Sakara, Day 1

I made it! I survived! I just ate my last dinner of my 5-day trial (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) of Sakara Life. To follow up my last post, I would like to make the next five posts visually heavy but text light. So, here is a list of my biggest takeaways from this personal eating experiment (followed up by a vegan’s food porn).

1) I can survive without animal meat/fish/eggs. This was a biggie for me. I workout 6/7 days of the week rotating between conditioning, HIIT, boxing, barre, yoga, cardio kickboxing… you get the idea. I’m very active and a big believer in the “protein 30 minutes after working out” rule. Also, I generally like to start my mornings with eggs or a protein shake. Sakara is pretty much vegan (even though they don’t state it outright and they do use honey in some dressings). I am aware that it is possible for vegans to get adequate protein, I just thought it involved eating buckets of lentils and beans. Apparently, Sakara founders have figured out how to pack a lot of protein into their meals using a variety of ingredients, such as seeds/nuts (hemp, cashews, almonds), grains (millet, quinoa, rice), vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach), etc. I didn’t once feel tired (I’m on the cusp of anemia), weak, or un-satisfied during this week.

2)I don’t really need to snack. Sakara’s 3 daily meals are designed to provide an adequate amount of calories and nutrients. They believe that in between meals, your body should focus on restoring and digesting and that no food should be consumed. Besides a few bites of pasta and some carrots and hummus, I pretty much stuck to this rule. I’m one of those people that never feels truly hungry because I’m always eating. It was actually nice to really get hungry and then sit down to an incredibly satisfying meal.

3) Chewing is the biggest takeaway. Because I was only getting those three meals, I really tried to sit down and eat. And only eat. No texting, homework, talking, standing, walking… just sitting and chewing and tasting. Not only did my digestion improve, but I actually recognized when I started feeling (which was sometimes BEFORE I was finished eating [gasp!]).

4) Convenience. As you’ll see below, I rarely had an instance where I wasn’t eating the meals straight from their containers. I work two different jobs and take classes in the evenings. Not having to prepare food, but knowing that what I would be eating everyday was going to be nutrient dense, satisfying, and delicious, was a big plus.

5) Variety. I have never eaten such a range of different vegetable-based foods in one week in my life. My diet before was 90% Sweetgreen, protein shakes, and nuts, and 10% almond milk cappuccinos, pasta, and salmon. (I’m not joking.) This past week, I had a veggie burger for the first time (and didn’t hate it- it was actually delicious and pared with cashew cheese), udon noodles, roasted turnips, wild rice curry, chocolate muffins, chocolate granola, vegan “grilled cheese,” the list goes on… see below for day 1!

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Morning Water: Rose, Silica, Trace Minerals
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Avo-Cacao Probiotic Pudding + Lavender-Almond Tea Biscuit
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Daydreamer Soba Bowl
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Winter Sun Salad: kale, carrots, dried tart cherries, shelled hemp hearts, tricolor quinoa, thyme, EVOO, wildflower honey, sherry vinaigrette, dijon mustard, walnut oil, himalayan sea salt, garlic, brussels sprouts, balsamic vinegar, walnuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: SAKARA

Let me preface this post, I’ve never done a cleanse or meal plan before. That’s right, I’ve never fasted, drank soup or liquids for an extended period time, eliminated gluten, etc… you get the idea. The closest thing I’ve ever come to one is when I eliminated coffee, but no caffeine, for three months.

There is a reason for this. It’s not because I don’t have self-discipline, but rather I just don’t think cleanses are worth the effort. In most cases, they can do more harm than good.

On the flip side, I DO think eating healthfully – meaning whole, unprocessed food, no sugar or processed foods – is worth the effort. I think it’s a lifestyle change that can benefit any and everyone.

sakara-life-meal-subscription

I’ve been aware of Sakara for a number of years now. Started by Danielle DuBoise and Whitney Tingle. And Promoted by VS model Lily Aldridge and other IG influencers, Sakara is a plant-based, organic, superfood ingredient meal delivery service. It is gluten and dairy free with no processed sugars, harmful chemicals, preservative or additives. 

THIS (above) is my kind of eating. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that eating well is not about eliminating entire food groups or macronutrients (ie carbs), but rather nourishing your body with whole, real foods. It’s not about counting calories, but prioritizing the quality of the calories you’re consuming- meaning the fiber, protein, good fat, and complex carbohydrate content.

I’m a pretty healthy eater generally, but like most, when work, school, and life overwhelms us, our nutrition and mindfull-ness fall by the wayside.

Personally, I do a decent job getting my daily greens, avoiding sugar (for the most part), and consuming high quality fats and proteins. I wanted to try Sakara, because lately I’ve been consuming a lot of animal protein and protein shakes. To be clear, this is perfectly ok. However, I am knowledgable about factory farming and the antibiotics that are present in most of the meat we consume. It’s not only environmentally harmful – high energy and pollution costs – but also, it is difficult for our digestive systems to deal with these antibiotics and toxins.

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When I’ve tried to cut back on my meat intake in the past, my iron levels drop, I feel tired all the time, and I get dark circles. In Sakara’s “Pillars of Nutrition,” they state that “getting adequate protein is variety.” Their “meals are designed to provide more than enough protein (50-75 grams per day!) – and not just in the form of nuts, beans and seeds. Vegetables are also rich in amino acids, the building blocks of protein.” This tells me that when I had cut back on protein in the past, I wasn’t compensating by adding more protein-rich food sources. Since starting Sakara, I have yet to feel tired or low energy.

So, I’m two and a half days in to my five day body/mind experiment. And so far, I think I’m obsessed. To start, I don’t have to plan my meals. They are delivered three times in a week in a cooler bag in aesthetically-pleasing, recyclable plastic containers. Sakara is like the Equinox of meal plans – aesthetics and function go hand in hand.

Second, knowing that my three meals are nutritionally complete, I haven’t snacked AT ALL in between them. If you know me, you know that I LOVE to snack and I’m a big snacker. I can eat an entire bag of popcorn and call that a snack. However, snacking can lead to overeating and never feeling hungry in between meals. Sakara emphasizes the mindful aspect of eating. I’ve had (most of) my Sakara meals without the distractions of technology or people. I sit down and take my time. I chew my food fully before swallowing. I know what you’re thinking: we all know how to chew food. But no, I’m serious. I’m pretty sure I used to just put food in my mouth and swallow, because it takes me almost twice as long to finish my food now. And this is a good thing. I have less indigestion and my body actually recognizes when it’s full now – sometimes before I’m done with what I’m eating.

Over the next few days, I’m going to post photos, full ingredient lists, and my review of each Sakara meal I’ve had. I’ll rate my favorites and at the end of it let you all know my takeaway thoughts!