What do a juice cleanse, a master cleanse and a strict, no-carb diet all have in common? They’re miserable. Too little calories with no nutritional balance is every foodie’s nightmare, which is why I’ve never even considered giving these extreme diets a try. Instead, I generally stick to the “eat anything you want and burn it off with exercise,” kind of health plan. And while that works for me in terms of keeping my weight in check, it also enables junk food binges, daily lunchtime energy crashes and endless bloating—talk about unpleasant.
So, I decided that I need to adapt a healthier diet. But because cooking is admittedly not my forte, I resolved to try a nutritious meal delivery service instead. As the go-to diet for celebs like Lily Aldridge and Kate Hudson, Sakara Life was my first pick to jumpstart my (hopefully) long-term lifestyle change, but surprisingly, I got so much more out of it than just that. Ahead, an exact breakdown of my three-day Sakara Life experience.
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8:45 a.m.: I’m miserable. After a long weekend getaway full of excessive food and booze, I hop off my red eye flight home craving a classic New York bagel for breakfast. Instead, my first Sakara Life meal of the day is two, mini blueberry pancakes paired with eucommia bark syrup. Because this is not my preferred breakfast of choice. I am not happy. However, I decide—in the name of journalism, of course—to throw the pancakes in the microwave and dig right in. I didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out these blueberry pancakes contain a third of the fiber you need in a day to keep you full and your blood sugar stabilized. Nice.
11:00 a.m.: I’m starving and decide to open up my Sakara Life Popcorn Trio ($39—not part of the meal delivery service) to hold me over until lunchtime. Taste-wise, I give the popcorn a 10/10.
12:30 p.m.: Next up is my Forbidden Rice and Tatsoi Bowl, which is essentially just a salad made of tatsoi (a leafy green similar to kale), rice, peas mixed with a light mustardy-tasting dressing. The portion is ginormous and I have trouble finishing it, but it tastes delicious and I scarf it all down.
7:30 p.m.: Time for dinner, which means it’s time to choke down this “winter energy bowl with creamy parsnip puree,” aka Sakara Life’s self-proclaimed shepard’s pie–inspired meal. The name sounds like it could be tasty and hearty on a cold, winter night, but in all honesty, it doesn’t look too aesthetically pleasing if you catch my drift. However, with some encouragement from my roommates, I warm up the energy bowl in the microwave and give it a try. Surprisingly, it’s absolutely amazing. I’m shoveling the sautéed spinach, protein-packed lentils and parsnip mash into my mouth like it’s my very last meal on earth—it’s that good.
8:30 a.m.: Full disclosure: I cheated on this meal. Breakfast is a chocolate muffin with two strawberries, but I despise chocolate (I know—weird), so I opt for two scrambled eggs and a small english muffin instead. My boyfriend decides to eat the chocolate muffin and declares it amazing.
12:30 p.m.: No need to snack between breakfast and lunch because I cheated on my first meal of the day. Sichuan noodles with sesame roasted carrots, white bean cabbage and kale is my lunch. It looks good and tastes even better. No complaints here.
7:30 p.m.: Dinner is a truffle kale salad with wild mushroom toast. In terms of taste, it’s pretty good, but not as filling as I had hoped. However, I eat it all and watch Netflix for the rest of the night feeling happy and satisfied.
7:30 a.m. : I never would have considered eating sweet potatoes for breakfast, but once I tried Sakara Life’s “superfood sweet potato bowl,” I wanted it all the time. This mashup is infused with bee pollen, which consists of about 25 percent protein, 18 amino acids and 28 good-for-you minerals. As a bonus, the whipped sweet potato is mixed with crunchy almonds and blueberries, giving it amazing flavor and a filling feel.
12:30 p.m.: The Dill Crunch Salad with Sage Seed Toast is for lunch, and truth be told, I’ve been looking forward to it all morning. The salad is incredibly fresh and because it has sage seed toast in it, and it’s super filling without making you feel tired after eating.
8:00 p.m.: When dinner finally rolls around, I’m not exactly psyched for my meal. This time it’s the Sunshine Curry with Purple Coconut Rice dish, a supposed Sakaralite favorite that’s inspired from a recipe at the NYC restaurant, Indochine. While the dish is meant to cleanse the body with its warming spices and pump you full of antioxidants from veggies like sweet potato and broccoli, it just didn’t really do it for me. I’ve never been a fan of curry, so in all fairness, the dish was doomed from the start. Ultimately, I eat half of the meal and make myself peanut butter toast afterward to fill me up.
The final verdict: I’d definitely try this again! While I obviously had some difficulty with certain foods, it felt amazing to have good-for-you meals already prepped and ready in my fridge each day. Plus, over the course of three days, I never felt the need for a snooze around 3 p.m. like I usually do, making me more productive at work than ever. I also felt leaner and was still able to partake in my normal exercise routine, which was a major bonus to the diet in my opinion. As a last perk, I no longer have intense cravings for any of the junk food that’s always laying around my office, and I have a much bigger appreciation for healthy food (who knew it could taste so good when prepared just right?!). For the first time ever, I look back on a diet fondly, which in itself is a good enough reason to give Sakara Life a try the next time you want a little nutrition reboot.
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