Meet the Sakara Science Council
At Sakara, the magical and mystical are in constant dialogue with the modern and cutting-edge—creating a harmonious balance between head and heart, science and spirit.
Our Sakara Science Council—a panel of five experts from a diverse range of fields, modalities, and traditions—embodies our highest vision of research and spirit in service of a greater purpose.
In the coming months, we’ll tap each of these visionaries for their plant-powered wisdom, tips, and tools. Read on for a taste of why we’re so honored to have them join us.
Dr. Shebani Sethi, Metabolic Psychiatrist
Dr. Shebani Sethi is the Founding Director of the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Metabolic Psychiatry Program, and a Clinical Assistant Professor. She is double board-certified in obesity medicine and psychiatry, and coined the discipline Metabolic Psychiatry.
Dr. Sethi’s unique focus on the connection between metabolism and mental health—and her understanding that there is no “one size fits all” approach—helps us further understand metabolism as a vital life force and use it to unlock radiant transformation.
Her Science x Spirit Philosophy: “The value of a science-based company dedicated to providing accurate information to the public is important and resonates [with me], as does the spirit of transformation in making changes for a healthier, happier individual.”
How She’s Living The Sakara Life: “Eating more foods found in nature, including plants and foods without preservatives, brings us closer to the way we were meant to eat. The closer we are to that, the greater our overall health. I live the Sakara Life by focusing on whole, non-processed foods, in addition to providing quality educational content and improvements in wellness.”
Dr. William Li, Health Defense Specialist
Dr. William Li is a physician, scientist, health defense specialist, and author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. His work has led to the development of more than 30 new medical treatments, impacting care for more than 70 diseases, including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and obesity.
Dr. Li shares our views on food-as-medicine, harnessing the power of plants for true transformation. His work on the cutting-edge of nutrition science and vast knowledge of the gut microbiome educates and informs us on our paths to optimal vitality.
His Science x Spirit Philosophy: “Organic foods are worth the investment because of new science showing they contain higher levels of bioactive chemicals that can activate our health.”
How He’s Living The Sakara Life: “I am excited by Sakara’s commitment to enhancing health through the joy of eating healthy ingredients used in delicious dishes. I live the Sakara Life myself by enjoying delicious food, eating with moderation, and leaning into diversity when it comes to my weekly menu.”
Dr. Jennifer Freed, Psychological Astrologer
Dr. Jennifer Freed is a psychological astrologer, social and emotional education trainer, and the author of the best-selling book Use Your Planets Wisely. She has served as the clinical director of Pacifica Graduate Institute, and has served as a national consultant for EMDR (Post Traumatic Growth Therapies).
Dr. Freed’s fascinating focus at the intersection of astrology and psychology perfectly blends science and spirit—the root of what we do here at Sakara. Her celestially-informed work encompasses tools to maximize our innate gifts and overcome negative patterns.
Her Science x Spirit Philosophy: “Most people don't know that it takes as many years to learn the true art and science of astrology as it does to earn a doctorate. The math, the mythology, the symbols and signs, and the art of interpretation requires as much work as becoming proficient in a foreign language.”
How She’s Living The Sakara Life: “What we think about is as important as the beautiful foods we put into our body. If I treasure myself, and spend time around people and experiences that highlight gratitude and contribution, I am naturally drawn to eat and drink in ways that uplift me. Sakara shows a true path to total well-being through a lifestyle of nutrition, optimism, and giving back to our communities.”
Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, Clinical Nutritionist
Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and a nationally-recognized nutrition expert. She is the author of The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes for a Healthy Life, and has a forthcoming book with goop Press.
Maya Feller’s, MS, RD, CDN, advocacy for the accessibility of organic and plant-based foods, along with her support for organizations like Wellness in the Schools, deeply aligns with our mission. Her dedication to sharing her knowledge and increasing awareness allows more and more people to be in the driver’s seat of their own health.
Her Science x Spirit Philosophy: “Our nutrition- and health-related actions between the ages of 20 and 40 are the best indicators of our future health. Meaning, what we eat, drink, how we move, if we sleep, and how we take care of bodies between the ages of 20-40 has a significant impact on the latter part of our lives.”
How She’s Living The Sakara Life: “Historically, wellness and the variables that are needed to be well have been denied to those who have been marginalized as a result of systemic and structural inequities. I connect with the philanthropic work that Sakara has pledged to engage in. Supporting the mission of Wellness in the Schools ensures that nutrition education, as well as nutrition and healthy lifestyle skills, can be taught to children across the US.”
Dr. Uma Naidoo, Psychiatrist
Dr. Uma Naidoo is a board-certified Harvard trained psychiatrist, professional chef, nutrition specialist, and author of This Is Your Brain On Food. She is the founding director of the only academic clinic in Nutritional Psychiatry and is the Director of Nutritional and Metabolic Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Naidoo’s niche nexus of work is at the intersection of mental health, nutrition, and culinary arts, providing a unique integrative, functional, and holistic treatment option. We admire Dr. Naidoo’s expertise in the medical space because of her unique understanding that food is medicine for not just optimal wellness, but also mental health. Educating on this connection is critical in supporting total transformation for mind, body, and spirit.
Her Science x Spirit Philosophy: “It is my life’s work and mission to empower those seeking to improve their mental health with actionable, joy-filled tools—sharing the message of how food, which I consider one of the most sacred joys of life, can directly and specifically benefit the health of our brain, not just our body.”
How She’s Living The Sakara Life: “As a physician, I am passionate about integrating the latest innovations in medical research into evidence-based practice to best serve my patients and clients. But as a chef, a creative, and [in] specializing in Psychiatry where I seek to help my patients achieve their optimal mental health, there is undeniably an element of joy and spirit that serves as a unifying thread through all of my work.”