Sooo this post needs a little bit of background. Back in April, I was a die-hard meat-eater. Like, COMMITTED. I couldn’t imagine my life without tacos, hamburgers, and, ahem, Chickfila chicken nuggets, and frankly – I didn’t want to. I considered myself to be a pretty healthy eater, but you’d have to tie me down and handcuff me before I’d ever willingly eat a meat-free diet. Fast forward six months, and I’m now currently striving to eat completely plant-based – stuffing all the spinach, arugula, chia seeds, chickpeas and goji berries I can find into my mouth. I NEVER in a million years thought I would say those words! What on Earth happened, may you ask?!
This book happened, is what! My friend Jessica recommended it to me over the summer, and I begrudgingly downloaded it onto my phone one night, late at night, when I couldn’t sleep. I read the entire book (all 576 pages) in less than a week. It’s the best book on the science of nutrition that I’ve ever read – the author does a fantastic job of presenting a vast body of research in a way that is straightforward and easy to read. Basically, the author is an advocate of a plant-based diet because of the wonders it can do for your body – even reversing chronic diseases – all based on science. It didn’t happen overnight, but that book started me on a journey of researching and educating myself – is eating a plant-based diet really better for you? I became bound and determined to find out. (This entire topic could be a whoooole other blog post, so let’s fast forward again!)
Fast forward to September – I had been eating a mainly vegetarian diet (although not vegan) and feeling great, but was finding it time-consuming and a little frustrating to come up with interesting meals. A friend told me about Sakara Life – a meal-delivery system that is 100% plant-based, organic, and gluten-free. The glorious thing is that all of the meals arrive in a cooler-like box (with lots of recyclable freezer packs) and they come ready to eat – no chopping up ingredients or assembling or anything like that! All of the meals are nutritionally designed based on the science behind a whole food, plant-based diet to pack in the most nutrients as possible. In fact, Sakara Life’s motto is “count nutrients, not calories.” After reading reviews where women raved about how good they feel on the plan and experienced less bloating and clearer skin, I was dying to try it out for myself.
At exactly 12 pm, my doorbell rings with my Sakara Life delivery. I chose the 3-day meal plan, which provides three full days of meals, starting from Tuesday dinner through Friday lunch. The meal plan is expensive, so that’s partly why I opted for only three days! I immediately unpack everything, dispose of the environmentally-friendly freezer packs and stack up all of the containers in my fridge. Since it was my first delivery, they threw in some cute little goodies, including a tote bag and some probiotic “chocolates.” There’s also a bunch of Sakara Detox Tea bags (I’m supposed to drink the tea in-between meals), along with Beauty Water Concentrate to put in your water in the morning and Detox Water Concentrate to put in your water at night.
My first dinner is labeled with “Tuesday Dinner” so I know exactly what to eat – and it’s a “Summer Sun Salad.” I’m so hungry that I manage to take a picture of the packaging, but not what the actual meal looks like. I dig in and eat fast – it’s surprisingly delicious, as in, one of the best salads I’ve ever had in my life! The salad contains a killer dressing, zucchini noodles, hemp seeds, a TON of greens, and a bunch of other toppings that all somehow taste amazing together. After dinner, I have a piece of the probiotic chocolate (which doesn’t really taste like chocolate, btw) but it squashes my typical craving for dessert. About an hour before bed, I pour myself a large glass of water and add in five drops of the Detox Water Concentrate – it contains chlorophyll so it turns my water a tiny bit green, but it doesn’t taste bad. The chlorophyll is supposed to help cleanse your body of toxins and help you sleep better at night. I go to bed feeling content and excited to see how I feel after an entire week of eating clean!
I wake up around 7:30 a.m. and head to the kitchen to down a huge glass of Beauty Water. It makes me realize that I NEVER drink water in the mornings – usually only coffee! In fact, I’m so full of water that I don’t even feel like making my normal coffee, so I go ahead and start on breakfast. Today’s is a Mulberry + Maize Muffin with a Probiotic Berry Coulis and a side of blueberries. The packaging has a flame symbol on it, which means they recommend heating up the meal. I put my muffin in the oven for around 10 minutes, and then dig in. By itself, the muffin is pretty bland tasting, but when it’s dipped in the Probiotic Berry Coulis – OMG IT IS ABSOLUTELY LIFE-CHANGING. I enjoy every single bite. I gobble it up and then head to my 8:30 a.m. Pure Barre class.
By the time lunch rolls around, I almost forget that I have a Sakara Life meal waiting for me in the fridge. It’s reassuring to remember that my lunch is already planned out and prepared for me, and I don’t have to scramble to put something together (like normal). Lunch is a Wild Rice + Miso Salad, and it’s reallllly good (although not as good as the salad from last night). Again, the dressing is amazing and makes the greens taste so much better. Also, that’s another thing I’m starting to realize about Sakara Life: each meal contains a TON of greens. And when I say a lot, I mean a ton!
In the afternoon, I sip a detox tea and it’s pretty good, although there’s not much of a taste. I’m also starting to feel the effects of skipping my morning coffee – I’m so sleepy that I can barely stay awake! It’s already 4 p.m., though, so having any caffeine is out of the question, or I won’t be able to fall asleep tonight. I’m also feeling a little hungry, so I nibble on some raw almonds to stave off hunger before dinnertime.
It’s finally dinner, and tonight’s meal is a Kimchi + Buckwheat Soba Bowl with Sweet Sesame Bok Choy. Although they’ve tried to disguise it as something else, I realize that it’s pretty much just another salad, with the soba noodles on top and a ton of greens packed into the bottom of the container. I can’t complain though – it’s delicious, especially the dressing, which is made with truffle oil and hemp seeds. I eat it happily knowing that it not only tastes good, but is packed with nutrients. A few hours later, I drink my Detox Water and then head to bed, falling into a deep sleep almost right away.
I wake up feeling particularly rested after an incredible night of sleep and head to the kitchen. I drink my Beauty Water right away, then make a beeline for my espresso machine – after how tired I was yesterday, I desperately need caffeine today! Today’s breakfast is Banana Protein Bread with Ruby Red Berries and a small peach. I heat up the protein bread, and not surprisingly, the “Ruby Red Berries” spread (macerated strawberries) that it comes with is DELICIOUS and makes the whole meal worth it. The banana protein bread seems to melt in my mouth and the macerated strawberries give it a sweet, tangy taste. I even contemplate trying to make my own banana protein bread when the program is finished.
I’ve spent the morning answering emails and working on some upcoming blog posts, so I’m happy when lunchtime rolls around and I can take a break! Lunch is a Wild Mushroom Pasta with Black Truffle Oil + Sautéed Spinach. I’m really excited for this one because I LOOOOVE pasta (even though I dislike mushrooms), and I heat it up on the stovetop like the packaging instructs. After taking a few bites, though, I remember just how much I hate mushrooms – these mushrooms are miniature and slimy, and the taste of them makes me feel slightly nauseated. However, I finish the pasta dish because I don’t want to waste the meal and, after all, it is healthy. (This was the only meal from the week that I didn’t enjoy, but it’s definitely due to my dislike of mushrooms; a mushroom-lover probably would have found it delicious, lol.)
I’m hoping that tonight’s dinner makes up for the less-than-lovely lunch. It’s a Thai Burger with Rainbow Slaw + Root Fries. I get incredibly excited when I read that… a BURGER!! What a treat – and it really is – the “burger” is delicious, although I realize halfway through my meal that they’ve tricked me yet again, since this meal could technically count as a salad, too. I end up crumbling the burger over the greens and spreading the thai dressing over it all. The dressing is delicious and so are the “root fries,” which taste just like sweet potato fries. For all the salad I’ve been eating lately, I’m surprisingly full.
Like clockwork, a couple of hours later, I drink my Detox Water and then head to bed. Is it just my imagination or am I starting to sleep better??
When I wake up this morning, I immediately notice that I feel lighter and more energized, and I haven’t even had my Beauty Water yet. I also realize with a bit of sadness that it’s the last day of my Sakara Life trial. I make my breakfast for the morning, a huge bowl of Superfood Granola with Blue Majik Mylk, a dairy-free milk made with spirulina. I pour it into a bowl just like cereal, and give some serious side-eye to this big bowl of blue milk. I’m a little hesitant to dig in (it looks so crazy, after all!)…. but somehow, this breakfast is even BETTER that the other two (and I loved the others!!). It tastes so good that when I finish eating the granola, I bring the bowl to my mouth and tip it back in order to drink every last drop of the blue “mylk.” I really like that Sakara Life has forced me to try new, healthy foods – and I’ve actually liked them!
My Final Thoughts
After three full days of eating the Sakara Life meals, here’s my honest, un-sponsored review:
It’s not for everybody. Ha! I love eating vegetables, and since I’ve been eating a vegetarian diet for a few months now, a week of plant-based healthy eating was not a huge adjustment for me. I loved how creative the Sakara Life team gets with each meal, but I also enjoy the taste of “healthy” foods. For someone who eats meat every day or doesn’t really like the taste of vegetables, it would probably be a bit of a shock. It would be a great way to “reset” or detox your body for a week.
The Sakara Life program also made me realize several things about myself: First, I don’t drink nearly enough water! Drinking one large glass in the morning, one hot tea after breakfast, one hot tea after lunch, and another large glass at night was really out of the norm for me and made me realize how little water I actually drink. It’s something I need to change about my daily routine.
Secondly, I realized that it’s crazy how much time I usually spend thinking about food. I didn’t even realize it until the week I tried Sakara Life, but in a normal week, so much of my brain’s energy is spent thinking about food. I typically have thoughts running in my head all day about what I should eat for lunch or what I should make for dinner, if we have the ingredients already in our pantry or if I need to stop by the grocery store, how healthy is this dish, how unhealthy is this dish, etc. Sakara Life eliminated ALL of that excess thinking. I didn’t worry about what I was going to eat for my next meal, if it was going to be nutritious, or whether or not I had the ingredients already at my house. In fact, it freed up brain space to think about other things, and I even felt like I could be more present with my husband and more creative at my job.
Another side effect of being vegan for a week? Maybe three days is too short of a time to tell, but I SWEAR I felt less bloated and my skin looked clearer by the end of the week. (It could have been a result of all of that water, too!) I just felt, overall, so much lighter and brighter. My energy levels were up, my brain was focused, and I was falling into a deep sleep at night and waking up in the morning feeling rested. I would eat mushroom pasta ALL day if I could feel this good all the time!
Just a disclaimer, I feel a little cautious writing posts on health and nutrition because I’m not a doctor and obviously there are lots of people out there with different opinions and lifestyles from me! So don’t take what I’m saying at face value…go and do your own research! You have to do what’s right for you.
Whew okay sorry for the long post you guys! I’d love to know, would you try out Sakara Life, or if you have, what were your thoughts!? xox.
UPDATE: Like I said, this post was totally unsponsored, but Sakara Life did reach out to me after this post went live to see if I wanted my own coupon code! You can use code REF_ SCP15 to receive 15% off your first order, meal plan or anything on their site. You can check out their site here.