My Sakara Journey: From Healthy Eating to Soaring Spirit
I’ve been a healthy eater since I was old enough to know the difference.
I didn't eat muffins, croissants, sugary cereals, or bagels for breakfast. I'd hit up a salad bar everyday for lunch: mixed greens, peppers, cucumbers, beans, beets, artichoke hearts, avocado, etc. A beautifully colored array of vegetables I was told would hydrate my body, fill it with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, and help maintain my optimal weight. I would snack on nuts, all-natural bars with few ingredients in them, fruit + peanut butter. I ate kale, drank green tea rather than coffee, treated myself to green juices, never consumed anything processed, and exercised four to five times a week. I was vegan.
Then I started working for Sakara and began my journey on the Sakara program. To be honest, my assumption was that I wouldn't experience any crazy results since I had been eating a similar diet for years (other than the convenience of not having to spend hours grocery shopping and cooking, and having the luxury of eating meals that I would never be able to recreate myself). Within one week, I started to feel a difference. Within one month, others started to notice. Almost 2 years later, dare I say I’m a different person?
The first thing I noticed was a drastic increase in energy. I woke up every day with a tangible sense of feeling ready, eager, and peaceful all at once and all from within me. As someone whose closest friends would frequently describe as a "very tired person," I was surprised to find that this energy stayed with me throughout the day and throughout the week. I no longer felt like I couldn't make it through the day without crashing and complaining.
My skin started to glow. I’ve been fortunate to never have suffered from any skin conditions, let alone any serious acne, and I was content with the way things were going with my skin - I did very little, and my skin looked just fine. All of a sudden people around me were consistently telling me how beautiful my skin was. How much I was glowing. What were my "secrets"...
The bloating I had dealt with my entire life dissipated for the first time ever!! My stomach got flatter, I felt better in my jeans, and all of a sudden it became easier for me to gain lean muscle mass throughout my body. As an athlete-turned-exercise-fanatic I was so grateful to finally see all of the physical manifestations of the work that I had been putting in for years. Hello abs, I've been waiting for you.
I went 2 years without getting sick. Not a flu, not a bug, not even a cold. Not even once. This rocked my always-coming-down-with-something world. Just ask my mom.
So you’ve got to ask…what changed? What was the difference between my previous clean, vegan, gluten-free HEALTHY diet and the Sakara program? Here are my observations.
- The Greens: I was a rockstar about eating vegetables. Green beans, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, eggplant, cabbage, carrots, onions, fennel, etc etc etc. I filled my grocery cart, my meals, and my body with every color in the rainbow. I ate kale, spinach, and mixed greens on a daily basis, but in a common, portioned, decent-size. On the Sakara program, I am eating at least 4 cups of raw, nutrient-dense dark leafy greens per day, without fail, each and every day. And usually I'm eating 8 cups. My body is being pumped with all of the hydration, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and iron that dark leafy greens boast to an extent that changed my body on a cellular level and is continuing to rejuvenate it daily.
- The Variety: Every time I went to the grocery store I would make a point of purchasing different vegetables because I was well aware that variety is the spice of life – and the key to a healthy, vibrant body. But the variety I achieved on my own is nowhere near the level of having nutritionally-designed meals created for me 3 times a day, 5 days a week. Never would I be able to eat Spiced Apple and Almond Butter Lovecakes, Winter Greens & Flaxseed Salad with Warming Mustard Vinaigrette, and Wild Mushroom Taco with Salsa Quemada & Hydrating Cilantro Crème in one day and then an entirely different set of meals the next. For me, it wasn’t possible financially, logistically, or creatively. The variety of nutrients my body gets on the Sakara program ensures that I am meeting my body’s nutritional needs so that it can be efficient, resilient, and healing.
- The Superfoods: Superfoods are magic. They provide potent fuel for your body in highly concentrated dosages, without a high number of calories. For anyone worried about not getting enough x, y, or z on a vegan, gluten-free diet, superfoods are your savior. When I was on my own, superfoods made it into my cooking every once in a while – flax, chia, hemp – but sacha inchi for breakfast, goji for lunch, and maca for dinner? My insides are ALIVE. And this means that my outsides – skin, hair, tummy, spirit – are too.
- Snacking: To be honest, the Sakara meals are larger than the meals I had been making on my own. I was not used to eating such a large amount of food at each meal (hello, cups and cups of greens!) and was worried about how this change would affect my hunger levels, metabolism, and body. The result? I stopped snacking. As a BIG snacker – most often tied to my emotions – snacking did not even cross my mind on the program because I was so satisfied for the hours in between meals. This meant that my digestive system was allowed to rest for extended periods of time, allowing my body to focus on whatever else it needed to do – this is where the healing and the results come in to play. No longer did I have to stress about when I was going to snack and where I was going to procure said clean snack, so my mind was free to think about other things: gratitude, consciousness, LOVE. Soar, spirit soar!
- The worry-free: When I started eating Sakara, all of the worry surrounding what I was eating, how much of it, and when lifted off my shoulders. I sat down to each meal, filled with peace, excitement, and confidence in the knowledge that I was filling my body with exactly what it needed, rather than with fear, stress, and guilt (which boosts cortisol levels and the body's rate at which it stores fat...). Every bite was a dosage of love I was putting into it and I was so grateful for all it was doing for my body. I strongly believe that coming to my meals from this place changed the way my body metabolized, stored, and eliminated the nutrients.
- Inspired food: Each Sakara meal is a work of nutritional art. They are creative, exciting, and incredibly delicious. I must admit that this is probably influenced a tad by working at Sakara, but I can see, taste, and feel how much love went into each meal, from its design to its creation to its delivery. It is made with the intention of providing my body with the cleanest, most pure, vibrant, and alive material on the planet, so that I can go throughout my life feeling my absolute best. And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing! My body is one of the most important things in my life – not because of aesthetic or materialistic purposes, but because it is my home. It is my vehicle, my protector, my savior. It is in charge of whether or not I can go from A to B, experience the world, connect with loved ones, share, laugh, jump, explore - and it is in charge of how I interact with all of these experiences. And the love in the Sakara food is absorbed by every single ounce of it.