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Interview

Feed Your Spirit with Sakara Life

Nourish your mind, body and soul with colorful, flavorful, plant-based meals – catered specially for you!

Feed your spirit! It’s the Sakara way.

Live the Sakara Life with the power of food medicine. When you sign up for a Sakara Life meal program, a classically trained chef will prepare you colorful and flavorful meals that nourish your mind, body and soul. Your catered plant-based diet will feature good fats, nutrient-dense food, sulfur-rich veggies, water-rich foods and greens galore.

Sounds amazing? Direct your thanks to co-founders, Whitney Tingle and Danielle Duboise. These NYC-based beauties experienced their fair share of food troubles, from cystic acne complications to crash dieting to troublesome weight gain. Trading fast-paced lifestyles for holistic wellness spaces, Whitney and Danielle began drawing up plans to help others through similar nutritional struggles. No blog or cookbook could do what the duo sought to achieve, so now they send meals straight to your door!

Read below to discover how Whitney and Danielle developed the Sakara Life and what they do with their time when they are not sending you kale salads.

YOUR ESSENTIALS

Your most overused phrase?

DD: Eat your greens!

WT: Thoughts to things.

How do you stay in shape?

DD: I’m nine months pregnant. So these days, I try to get some type of movement in. Sometimes it’s taking long walks with my family and dog, and others it’s taking my daughter to the park. I’ve also been loving trying new classes throughout my pregnancy with Fit Pregnancy Club and Melissa Wood Health.

WT: Throughout quarantine, my pregnancy, and now postpartum, I’ve been *trying* to dedicate at least 20 minutes a day for some sort of movement. That can look like going on a walk, going swimming (I’m currently living in Arizona), or doing an online class. I’ve really been into Melissa Wood Health and Caravan Wellness, and Fit Pregnancy Club.

How do you unwind?

DD: At the end of a long day, I like to turn on Joni Mitchell and dance with my two-year old. It always calms me down. For nights when I need a little more help, I’ll have a cup of Sakara Sleep Tea. I also set aside time each night for my self-care routine and find that it helps me relax before bed. On nights when I want to do something extra luxurious, I’ll steam my face over a boiling pot with 2-3 bags of Sakara Detox Tea inside. It’s very high in antioxidants and helps open my pores.

WT: I am most at peace in nature. I like to walk outside barefoot to ground myself with the Earth. I also get to soak up some sunshine (even when it’s cold out), and breathe in the fresh air. It allows me to quiet my mind and find just a moment of stillness. Sometimes if I’m stressed about making a decision on something, the answer comes to me when I’m most quiet. I’ve also found that my skincare and body care routine has become a daily ritual. It is very relaxing for me. I’m currently obsessed with Goop’s G.Day Ginger and Ashwagandha Bodywash and Black Pepper + Rose Hip Energy Body Oil.

On your desk?

DD: My desk essentials include hand cream, water, Sakara Beauty Water Drops, and The Foundation: Prenatal. I love adding our Sakara Beauty Water Drops to my water daily. They help restore and elevate the mineral content of water, and therefore, your cells. The balance of ionic minerals in our Beauty Water Drops help to hydrate and alkalize the body. This is especially important for me now since I am pregnant and need to keep my electrolyte and mineral balance. I keep our newly launched The Foundation: Prenatal on my desk, as I take it every single day. These come in convenient daily packs. Moreover, they ensure that the baby and I are getting all nutrients needed to thrive throughout the various stages of pregnancy. I also always keep Saie Mascara 101 and Olio E Osso Balm at my desk for days. They come in handy when I want to freshen up before any important Zoom calls and IG Lives.

WT: I have a Defender Shield to protect me from unwanted radiation from my laptop since I’ve been working so much more from my lap these days. I also keep our Dark Chocolate Granola and Energy Bars at my desk. My favorite thing to do is to mix our granola with nut milk for a filling afternoon snack when I’m in back-to-back Zoom calls. Our Energy Bars have been a staple. They’re jam-packed with essential nutrients that support stable energy levels, clarity, and alertness (without the effects of caffeine).

Guilty pleasures?

After all, joy is a nutrient and it’s important that we lean into it and listen to our body.

DD: First and foremost, I don’t believe in labeling things as good vs. bad or feeling guilty for enjoying them. Everything we do at Sakara is rooted in giving you the tools to cultivate body intelligence and build a body you love. This means not eating perfectly 100 percent of the time and enjoying that glass of wine or fries. After all, joy is a nutrient and it’s important that we lean into it and listen to our body. As of late, my current pregnancy craving has been almond croissants from Maman – they’re my absolute favorite.

WT: At Sakara, we believe it’s so important to listen to your body and what it needs, whether it’s craving a big bowl of leafy greens or a burger and fries. No one ever eats perfectly 100 percent of the time, and food should be something we enjoy! One of my current “guilty” pleasures has been gluten-free frozen waffles that are the “healthy” version of Eggos. And being from New York, I also LOVE having a slice of pizza every now and then.

YOUR THINKING

What advice would you give your 20-year old self?

DD: Listen to your body. Learn to cultivate that inner voice and then listen.

WT: Remember that your journey will not be linear and that everything is a learning opportunity. In order to grow in your personal and professional life, having a growth mindset is one of the most important things you can have. As humans, we’re constantly evolving, so we should appreciate our lessons, mistakes, and setbacks. These are what pave the way for the future. It’s important to remember that everything we go through, brings us to our present, even the hard times. It’s all part of our non-linear paths.

Personal motto?

DD: Things happen for us, not to us.

WT: Beauty from the inside out.

What sets you apart from others?

DD: I see the world and everything in it as a gift and an opportunity to both grow as an individual and to help the collective. I’m far from perfect at this, but my spiritual path is one of learning to be proactive, not reactive in every situation.

WT: I’ve always had a growth mentality, looking at every situation as an opportunity for growth. I try to find the ways I can grow as a person. I try to be less reactive, be a better listener, lower the ego, take risks, try new things, get creative, think of new pathways and ideas – which in turn help me to be a better leader for my team as well.

One thing you would change about your profession?

DD: As a founder and entrepreneur who has truly found their mission in life, I feel fortunate to say there is very little I would change about my profession. That being said, the industry overall needs transparency and a higher quality of standards. It’s disheartening to see that a majority of the industry uses scare tactics and dishonesty to make people feel unworthy and then feeds them low-quality, toxic products that have adverse effects on our health. Our mission here at Sakara is to help people understand how much control we have over our health and how we feel. We give people the tools to be in the driver’s seat of their health. My hope is that people will begin to see what we eat truly impacts how we feel and function and that food is medicine.

I hit my rock bottom, which is how I know that it is there and that true transformation can happen.

WT: Having to witness the pain and suffering of people who are facing real health challenges or don’t feel good in their bodies. I can empathize because I was that person. I hit my rock bottom, which is how I know that it is there and that true transformation can happen. Now, I make it my mission every day to share that message with anyone who feels hopeless or lost, and to provide the tools to help people take control of their health and start feeling like their most vibrant, radiant self again.

YOUR LIFE

Who is your greatest mentor?

DD: I am so fortunate to have several incredible mentors in my life. Dr. Aviva Romm and Dr. Robynne Chutkan, who are leading functional medicine doctors in women’s health and the microbiome, as well as medical advisors at Sakara. Additionally, Bob Mylod and John Replogle, who were the CFO of Priceline and CEO of 7th Generation and Burt’s Bees, respectively. They are just a few of the people who have had an incredible impact on me both personally and professionally. We recently named John Replogle the new Chairman of Sakara’s Board and I couldn’t be any more excited for our future as a company and to learn from someone with such an incredible career.

WT: One of the best things about having a podcast is getting to invite everyone you want as a mentor on the show and ask them the questions you’ve been dying to ask them. We’ve had Arianna Huffington, Mark Hyman, Gabby Bernstein… I mean really phenomenal people on the show who give us–and our listeners–these incredible nuggets of wisdom. I consider each of our guests a mentor in their own way.

What was the turning point in your career?

DD: The turning point was early on when Whitney and I created this nutrition program and transformed our own lives. This inspired us to help others transform their own lives. Some of our earliest clients were people who were desperate to feel better. They were dealing with cancer, lupus, depression, etc. When we received emails from them thanking us for helping turn their health around, or just feel better as they went through chemo, my whole life changed and I knew I was on the right path.

WT: One of the turning points early on in our career was after one of our first clients completely transformed his life. He was Danielle’s old boss and suffered from a variety of health issues. He experienced such an incredible transformation from eating our meals that we knew we had discovered something much too important to just keep to ourselves, and that we must share it with the world. After witnessing his own profound transformation along with our own, we made it our mission to share our nutritional philosophy with as many people as possible! We feel so humbled to be giving people the tools to build a body they love and feel good in.

Biggest risk that has paid off?

Bootstrapping a business isn’t easy, but having a mission that you wholeheartedly believe in to serve as a north star is so rewarding.

DD: My biggest, scariest, and most rewarding risk by far was starting Sakara. Whitney and I set out on this journey to heal and transform our own lives. Once we realized the incredible power of food and the nutrition program we created, we knew we had to share this with the world. And, even though we didn’t know how to start a business or what that would look like, we believed in our mission and we never gave up. Bootstrapping a business isn’t easy, but having a mission that you wholeheartedly believe in to serve as a north star is so rewarding.

WT: One of the biggest risks was moving to New York with Danielle. I was originally deciding between LA and New York City and Danielle convinced me to move. I took a leap of faith and moved here with no plans or job and hoped for the best. Looking back, I am so grateful I trusted my instincts because it completely changed my life. Had I not taken the risk to move, I would have never transformed my own health and life or started Sakara with Danielle.

Proudest moment?

DD: Birthing my beautiful baby Star and having my second on the way.

WT: Birthing my 9.5lb baby boy, Bodhi, in October.

Image Credit: Lianna Tarantin, Sakara Life

Teresa Deely

Teresa Deely is a graduate from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.

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