These 2 Besties Started a Vegan Meal Service Victoria’s Secret Models Love
If you’re anything like me, trying to go on a diet means vacillating between Atkins at breakfast, “clean eating” at lunch, and vegan at dinner depending on what I’m in the mood for.
Simply put, sometimes the hardest part about dieting is choosing which one to do, especially on an empty stomach. Haven’t you ever wanted to throw your hands up and have someone else make your food choices for you?
That’s where Sakara, which is basically a chic, vegan, and super healthy Jenny Craig, comes in. The meal delivery service is beloved by Lily Aldridge, Karolina Kurkova, and basically anyone else who you’ve ever looked at and thought, “goals.” The food is vegan, healthy, and gets delivered to your door. I tried it for two days last fashion week, and the food was sooo good.
Even cooler, though, is Sakara Life’s origin story: founders Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise are best friends who built the entire business on their own in 2011 after raising $700 by charging entrance to a house party.
We talked to the founders and learned some of their best tips for health and weight loss. Read on for more.
Where did you two meet?
DD: Whitney and I grew up in Sedona, Arizona, which is a very spiritual, wellness-minded town. So we always had an appreciation for the healing power of food. We like to say that Sakara actually started when we met in the 7th grade!
WT: We both moved to New York to pursue our respective careers—I was working on Wall Street and Danielle was studying biochem and acting/modeling on the side—and we eventually teamed up to create Sakara Life, initially as a solution to our own problems with food and body image issues.
What’s it like running a company with your friend?
DD: It’s amazing. There’s never any question that we’re on the same page about our mission, and ultimately, we want the same things, which is essential. That doesn’t mean we agree on every decision 100% of the time, but we are also really good at communicating with each other. We practically communicate telepathically.
WT: We completely respect and trust each other, which is key. And of course, we’re friends first and business partners second, so we make sure to take time out of the office to nurture our relationship.
What are the benefits of cleansing with solid food instead of juice?
DD: The problem with juicing is you’re missing out on so much good stuff! Juice has all the sugar of fruit but none of the fiber—and the fiber is what keeps your blood sugar from skyrocketing.
WT: Beyond that, juice cleansing just isn’t sustainable in the long term — who wants to drink nothing but juice every day? In order for healthy choices to stick, you have to make them because you want to, not because you have to. And if you feel deprived and restricted and like there are all these rules you have to abide by, it’s not going to last, and you aren’t going to see real results. We prefer juice as a supplement to a whole-food, plant-based diet.
What’s the best weight loss or health hack you learned this year?
DD: We’ve been talking about this for a while, but one of our favorite “health hacks” is to eat your water! That means eating lots of fresh, hydrating produce (think cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, radishes, romaine lettuce… the list goes on). When you eat foods with a high water content, the water they contain stays in your body longer, providing your cells with deeper hydration. And hydration = better digestion, fewer cravings and glowing skin.
What’s your favorite new food that you discovered through planning meals for Sakara Life?
WT: We work with a lot of local farms so we’re constantly learning about new varieties of fruits and veggies. We love adding seasonal microgreens to our lettuce blends, and we recently discovered pineberries, which look like white strawberries and taste like pineapples!
What are some superfoods every Galore Girl should be eating?
DD: Chia, hemp seeds, maca, lucuma, MSM, activated charcoal, matcha…there are too many to name! Luckily our Clean Boutique has it all. We always wanted to reinvent the grocery shopping experience by making clean, functional snacks that are also convenient. We offer bars, granolas, popcorn, veggie chips and our famous waters, tea and salad dressings. Everything is made to order from fresh, powerful superfood ingredients, and they’re all designed to deliver specific results.
WT: Of course, don’t forget to eat your greens—4 to 6 cups a day is our #1 tip for health and wellness.
How does making healthy food choices (as opposed to just dieting/restricting calories) help weight loss?
WT: Calories don’t give you any information about the food you’re eating. They’re a unit of energy, not nutritional content. Instead, focus on things like healthy fats, water content, colors, plant protein and nutrient density. Your food should be bright, vibrant and beautiful! A balanced, diverse diet of plant foods will ensure you’re getting the full spectrum of essential nutrients. And weight loss is just one example of the results eating this way offers — our clients tell us they’ve experienced fewer chronic symptoms, clearer skin, better energy and sleep quality and even improved sex lives (!!) from our program.
DD: We talk a lot about body intelligence — building a body you can really listen to. By fueling your body with whole, healthy foods and focusing on how those foods make you feel, rather than obsessing over calories, you’ll get back in touch with your natural hunger point, your cravings will decrease and you’ll simply enjoy living in your body more!
What’s your dream breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
WT: A lot of the meals on our program are our dream dishes that we’ve given a Sakara superfood makeover. I love something sweet in the morning, like a breakfast pastry, so my dream breakfast is our Stone Fruit Scone with Sweet Cherry Butter. And for lunch OR dinner, my absolute favorite meal is our Youth & Beauty Salad. Seriously, I could eat it every day, for every meal. It’s colorful, it’s hydrating, it’s fresh, it makes me feel incredible… it’s perfect.
DD: I’m a serious chocolate lover, and so our Dark Chocolate Granola with Vanilla Almond Mylk is my dream breakfast. For lunch, I’d say the Sakara Earth Bowl, which is made with these beautiful, organic heirloom greens. And for dinner, it would have to be our Burrito Bowl, because who doesn’t love Mexican food? All you have to add is a margarita ☺
Photos by Amber Asaly
Graphic by Mi Gerer