Sakara Life Farm-to-Fabulous
Your inside scoop on a delicious detox à la Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle by Rebecca Leffler.
Today’s culinary and health scenes are all about the concept of “farm-to-table” fare. Wouldn’t it be great to stop off at the farm, whip up a delicious, healthy home-cooked meal on your way to work in the morning? But come on, who actually has a farm in their urban backyard or the time to slave away over the stove for hours (let alone time to boil water or turn an oven on)?
And wait – did you soak your non-GMO, raw organic almonds overnight with Himalayan sea salt, blend them with Goji berries from Tibet then strain them in a nut milk bag? And I assume you sprouted your chickpeas before tucking your children into bed? Please, tell me you separated your tatsoi from your mizuna? And did you blend your ACV with some EVOO and nooch? What’s that you say? No time for any of the above? Or are you wondering why I suddenly started speaking Chinese?
Sakara Life is like having your own personal Mary Poppins, only this time she’s vegan, gluten-free and carries a traveling freezer bag filled with supercalifragilisticexpialadelicious food.
Luckily, Sakara Life has thought of everything precisely so you don’t have to. Think of them as luxury nannies for your food. They tend to every whim and treat your meals with love. Just a spoonful of (unrefined) (probably coconut) sugar helps the medicine go down. Sakara Life is like having your own personal Mary Poppins, only this time she’s vegan, gluten-free and carries a traveling freezer bag filled with supercalifragilisticexpialadelicious food. (Note: deliveries do not arrive via chimney.)
Sakara Life is a healthy food delivery service founded in 2011 by Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle, childhood friends from Sedona, Arizona.
Danielle is a former model and actress who is now a certified holistic health coach. Tingle comes from a financial background and the certified yoga instructor has since left Wall Street for Healthy Avenue. After seeing such a disconnect between mind and body and seeing their colleagues – and themselves! – struggle with staying healthy in a big city like New York, the two entrepreneurs set out to create a way of eating that is both empowering and beautifying. “Sakara” is an ancient Sanskrit word that means “the manifestation of thoughts to things.”
All of the meals are made in Sakara Life’s New York kitchen and the produce is sourced from local farms. They’re not into labels, but all of the food coming out of their kitchen is plant-based and free of processed ingredients, gluten, meat or dairy. It’s non-GMO, negative thought-free and très sexytarian. Think: Seamless for the mind and body.
Sakara Life’s clients include everyone from chia-kale-acai-obsessed New Yorkers who already speak fluent “healthy” to newbies looking for a post-intox detox or, on many occasions, to change their lives. “It’s definitely a balance. Our focus is on customer care. People want to feel supported and we do a lot of supporting”
Duboise says of their team of health professionals. All Sakaralites (as the company affectionately calls their clients) are given a personal customer care specialist to help them through the process.
Unlike 3-5 day juice cleanses, Sakara’s meal plans aren’t meant to be a quick fix, but instead a delicious detox and a way to slowly, but surely “digest” a new way of eating and thinking.
“This move into a healthy lifestyle is more of a spiritual transformation than anything,” Duboise explains. She adds: “Our main goal is to help people feel really good in their bodies again. Many people have forgotten and some people don’t even know what that feels like to begin with.”
Sakara Life is for people who have no idea where to begin to eat healthy or for those who do, but simply don’t have the time to prepare it. Every meal comes complete with a fun name (think: “Breezy berry scone”, “Eat-the-rainbow wrap” or “Spring Blossom Bowl”).
Side effects of Sakara RX may include radiant skin, toned bodies and increased energy.
Sakara Life is all about the famous “food as medicine” philosophy, but they want their medicine to taste good too. Side effects of Sakara RX may include radiant skin, toned bodies and increased energy.
“It’s all about taking responsibility for our own health and happiness. There’s a direct correlation between what you put into your body and how happy you are,” Tingle explains.
Sakara is all about having your (allergen-free) cake and eating it too so they offer twists on old favorites like PB&J (almond butter and strawberry jam on toasted oat bread), burgers (Red Beet Burger), pasta (Summer Squash Pasta with Cleansing Herbs) and yes, even cake.
“You don’t want to stress out about your food, you want it to be easy and healthy,” Tingle said of Sakara, it is “a reverse cleanse.”
Some of their emotional connections have been with celebrities ranging from supermodels Iman, Lily Aldridge and Karolina Kurkova to make-up icon Bobbi Brown and “it girl” Lena Dunham.
Thanks to positive word of mouth and great press, the Sakara lifestyle is catching on. “The last 8 months have been insane,” Duboise says of the Sakara Life takeover of NYC and beyond. Sakara Life delivers all over the Northeast, all around the tri-state area and now into Boston. They’ll be in DC within the next few weeks and in Miami by the fall, with LA on the radar for next year.
“We started off with high end movers and shakers in the city and it just grew from there,” Tingle says. Like their produce, Sakara’s success has also grown organically. “It’s really been word of mouth. When you have a product that people like and feel emotionally connected to, they want to tell everybody they know about it,” adds Tingle.
It doesn’t hurt that some of their emotional connections have been with celebrities ranging from supermodels Iman, Lily Aldridge and Karolina Kurkova to make-up icon Bobbi Brown and “it girl” Lena Dunham.
Their four-week menu rotates seasonally so Sakaralites will never have the same meal twice in one month. “We all suffer from decision fatigue. One of our pillars of health is variety, getting all different types of nutrients from different places. Even the same foods in different combinations can do different things for your body,” Tingle says.
Sakara Life doesn’t list every ingredient, nor do they provide a calorie count or detailed nutritional analysis of their meals.
“People are obsessed with ‘is this going to make me fat?’ It’s not a healthy thought pattern,” Tingle says. She adds: “We’re trying to shift the culture around food and people’s relationship to food.” “We don’t judge food by its calorie content. We judge food by how it makes us feel. You want food to nourish you.
People have to be reeducated and not see food as the enemy,” states Duboise, adding: “ We’re making it less about the calories and more about how it affects your body and giving the body what it needs.” Plus, Duboise points out: “When your body is clean, then you can get dirty from time to time. You don’t have to feel guilty when you’re feeding your soul. You know your body can handle it.”
As the health craze conquers Manhattan and the Northeast, Sakara Life’s black freezer bags filled with 1-2 days of meals are fast becoming the new “it bag”.
“What else would you rather put your money into besides your health? What is more important and valuable?” Tingle says of their fashionable food that is constantly getting a makeover from season to season. She adds: “We’re still discovering new things every day.”
PS: Tell them BWB sent you!
Rebecca Leffler is a Paris-based writer and journalist who, after a career as the French correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and as a film critic on Canal+, traded red carpets for green smoothies. She’s written five books about healthy lifestyle from Paris to NYC and beyond, including Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic: Eat (and Live!) the New French way with plant-based, gluten-free recipes for every season, and most recently Le Nouveau Manuel de la Cuisine Végétale. Rebecca has pioneered the “vegolution” in Paris, where she continues to organize events focusing on healthy eating, yoga and la vie en rose… And green! You can keep up with Rebecca on Instagram!