How Food Transforms
Real stories that celebrate the power of nutrition
Over the years, we’ve witnessed thousands of metamorphoses, many thanks to plant-rich nutrition. In fact, it was our founders’ distinct and personal journeys that were the inspiration and catalyst for Sakara. We’ve been so grateful to see clients overcome illnesses, debilitating insecurities, serious health issues, and emotional blocks that were shifted completely by changing what and how they eat.
The source of these changes trace back to our science-backed nutrition—an expertly designed regimen of foods that nourish the microbiome; are rich in diverse minerals and nutrients; and are sourced with uncompromising quality standards. But just as impactful as our nutrition is the soul work of radically caring for our bodies that’s happening in tandem. Eating this way is a catalyst for reprogramming thought patterns, habits, narratives, minds, and lives. It’s beyond physical.
In celebration of the stories we’ve heard over the last ten-plus years, and to recognize the metaphysical shift that takes place with each bite, we’ve collected some inspiring stories from clients and thought leaders who have reframed what it means to eat for health. In the Sakara universe, it’s pleasurable, liberating, celebratory, collaborative, medicinal, and, yes, delicious.
A SENSE OF CLARITY
“For me, plant-based eating changed my life because of how much it enhanced my mental and physical performance. Food is fuel and it has the power to affect you in so many different ways. Once you start to eliminate processed foods, you start to feel a greater sense of mental clarity and physical strength. I personally also felt like I had more control over my mood, my skin looked brighter (I didn’t get as many blemishes or breakouts), I felt lighter, and my overall performance during the day or in my workouts was better.”
—Dr. Mona Vand, Doctor of Pharmacy
A RITUAL WORTH ENJOYING
“I have never been a ‘foodie.’ Even as a child, my mother had to force me to eat. We didn’t understand until much later that almost everything I was offered made me feel ill. Food truly is medicine and I’m enjoying the ritual of fueling my body more than ever before. I’m very grateful.”
–Dani, Sakara Client
A KEY TO OUTER GLOW AND INNER PEACE
“[As a teen] my life was essentially a broken record of dermatology appointments, picking at my skin, prescription creams, antibiotics, eating fast food on the road, being sick in bed, new antibiotics, different creams—and all the while, crying myself to sleep every night and asking the universe for clear skin like my friends. Even as I grew up, my overall health was also still a disaster. I was always feeling cloudy, fatigued, moody, and constantly calling out sick.
I was tired of being sick all the time so I decided to try a different route to healing since pills and creams from the doctor were still not working. I started watching documentaries on food and wellness, and reading health and nutrition books. Most of it was ‘alternative medicine’ that talked about how our bodies process different substances, and how the quality of our thoughts, food, and environment could shape what and who we are as a whole.
I became obsessed with getting healthy in a natural way... it all came together after I realized one major thing: ingredients are everything. I started being more conscious of what I was eating, not allowing synthetic preservatives, fillers, dyes, or artificial flavors into my body. It didn’t happen overnight, but everything changed. My immunity quickly started improving, my face became thinner, less inflamed and red, my stomach flattened out, and my skin was starting to clear up.
I was still eating the same amount as before, I simply changed the default choices for myself. That’s really the secret in one sentence: internal health leads to external beauty, and you attain it by attending to what you put into and onto yourself.”
—Shelly Marshall, Skin Therapist, Esthetician, and Founder of BeautyShamans
THE NEXT GENERATION’S FOUNDATION
“Early childhood nutrition behaviors can be indicators of future health outcomes. When kids are exposed to a variety of healthful foods from an earlier age and are taught practical cooking skills, it improves their relationship to food while teaching lifelong healthy habits. Habits that, in turn, have the potential to reduce their risk of developing chronic conditions.”
—Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, Sakara Science Council Member, Educator, and Author
A RELEASE OF BODY SHAME
“Food used to feel like the enemy for me—because it was the tool I tried to use to give me the body I wanted, but in the opposite way. Instead of using it to work FOR me, I tried to deprive myself of it to have the body I wanted. After most diets, you just feel so not like yourself, you know? Food really creates you, so if you're depriving yourself of it, you sort of lose yourself. I think those were the hardest times for me.
Every time we sit down to eat, we’re deciding if we’re worthy of nourishment, love, and standing in our power. Food is a reflection of our innermost relationship with ourselves. Our issues with food are our issues with ourselves. I always thought building my best body was supposed to be painful, lackluster, and full of restrictions, but now we know it can be fun, joyful, and scrumptious.
Less than 14% of Americans eat the daily recommended five servings of plants each day (which isn't even enough! You get over 11 eating Sakara) yet getting enough of these powerful foods each day is linked to so many health benefits—balancing hormones, taming auto-immune disorders, reversing gut and digestive issues, aiding mood disorders and gaining an overall sense of 'I feel amazing.'"
—Danielle DuBoise, Sakara Founder and Co-CEO
FUEL FOR MAKING CHANGE
“What I eat, that's the essential beginning. What goes in my body, particularly now, is so important because I don't have that youthful just gangster energy to run on anymore. Before, I could just go. You had a second and a third wind; you have a shot of espresso and I'm popping. It doesn't work that way anymore, and also, that doesn't feel good anymore.
I want to be fresh to death till the day I rest. I want to be that chick. I'm eating this because this makes me work better as a full woman, as a full expression. This makes me feel better. This makes my skin look better. This makes my organs work better. This helps my yoga, and my yoga helps my meditation. And my meditation helps me from not popping off.
I’m out here to do some work, to make some change, to really be a difference in the world, and so I need to have energy. I need to radiate something, and you can't radiate off of dead food. You can't radiate from things that aren't literally life-giving. They're sitting in your body working slower.”
—Michaela Angela Davis, Writer and Activist
“Food is the most subtle-yet-powerful way of correcting minor imbalances in the body.”
—Dr. Jill Blakeway, Sakara Science Council Member, Women’s Health Specialist, and Founder of the Yinova Center
A MINDSET SHIFT
“What I learned is: Your goal isn't to lose weight. That'll be a byproduct if you're eating healthy, but your goal should be to nourish your body the way it needs, and to think of it as almost like a machine. It has to be taken care of and said the right things to in order to function at its best. When you don't, you feel it and you see it.”
—Cassandra B., Sakara Scholarship Recipient
AN ENERGETIC RENEWAL
“I started Sakara 15 months ago. [It] has transformed my physical and mental state. I lost 40 pounds and lowered my blood pressure and cholesterol to normal levels, and I have renewed energy.”
—Michelle B., Sakara Client
A PATH TO GREATER CONFIDENCE
“Before Sakara, I was at my lowest low. I was working in finance and the long hours, stress and culture of convenience took a toll. My banker diet of quick lunches, fried calamari, and after-work cocktails resulted in a 15-pound weight gain and my face was covered in terrible cystic acne that no pill, cream, or laser could cure. It became my biggest insecurity and I was obsessed with finding a solution. I spent thousands of dollars on the top dermatologists in New York City, always optimistic that they would have a solution—but when a doctor recommended I get on another round of Accutane, I stopped in my tracks and knew I needed to listen to my body and find another way. Through creating Sakara with Danielle, it all became so clear that I did not have a skin problem, I had a gut problem. Once I started eating more plants, I discovered that my other health concerns like anxiety, weight gain, and female imbalances also went away.
I've realized that what I put into my body has an effect on all areas of my life. I went from being a victim to the world and things just happening to me, to sitting in the driver’s seat. I realized that my choices—not just in life, but on my plate—impact my life and my future. It was an amazing and empowering realization that has changed my trajectory. It takes time and effort, but it is doable, and that's a beautiful thing to know how to do. By choosing what I put on my plate, I choose the future I want to create for myself. By stripping away the foods that disrupt the natural signals to my brain and body I'm able to be myself. I'm able to listen to what my gut is telling me and know that I am on the right path to creating the life I want to live.”
—Whitney, Sakara Founder and Co-CEO
THE KEY TO PEACEFUL ZZZs
“It was very much an improvement in the quality of my sleep. I no longer felt the need to sleep beyond eight hours because the quality of my sleep was just providing me sufficient energy… My energy levels have changed. My mood has changed.”
—Rehnuma K., Sakara Scholarship Recipient
A SOURCE OF SEROTONIN
“A lot of the serotonin receptors (90% or more) are in the gut, and 90% of the production of serotonin is in the gut. As people start to unpack that information, they begin to see that there is this gut-brain connection… If you’re just sort of feeling off in a consistent way or having some unusual thoughts, ask yourself what you ate in the last 24 or 48 hours, and see if there's any pattern associated with it. I've had individuals who make a change to their diet and they don't realize it. (Of course, if someone has pre-existing medical conditions, they should make sure they're taking their medications for that, too.)”
—Dr. Uma Naidoo, Sakara Science Council Member and Nutritional Psychiatrist
A BEAUTIFUL REMINDER
“I have always struggled with my relationship with food and my body. [Eating this way] reminds me that food is nutritious, medicinal, and necessary… and reminds me that I am beautiful as I am. It matters.”
– Kacy, Yoga Teacher