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

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMO: Nespresso’s Cafecito De Cuba Espresso (Limited Edition)

Along with chugging a liter of water upon waking (thank you Cameron Diaz), coffee is one of the first things I consume in the AM. An almond milk cappuccino specifically. I use Nespresso pods and Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (it foams the best).

In June (2016), Nespresso announced that they will “sell Cuban coffee in the U.S. for the first time in half a century” (fortune.com).  There had been a permanent ban on Cuban coffee since 1962, up until President Obama ended the Cuba embargo.

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But enough politics, how does it taste, you ask. These Cafe de Cuba pods ( made from Arabica Cuban beans). Upon first sip, I realize that this pod is no Bukeela ka Ethiopia pod (intensity 3). I would put Cafecito up there with Kazaar or Dharkan (intensity 11-12), but with a caramel or Carmelito aroma. It’s a little spicy and definitely has a distinct flavor profile.

I would suggest this coffee for anyone who likes caffeine or the strong taste of coffee generally. I recently learned that some people drink coffee and don’t like the taste? *shakes head*

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