Our Founders On Joyful, Empowered Pregnancies
INTROSPECTION, NUTRITIONAL WISDOM, PLUS A DIRECTORY OF MAMA-TO-BE RECIPES AND MUSINGS
The journey from Maiden to Mother is a wild one. There are a lot of expectations, dogma, and advice from all directions while bringing babies earthside. But if there’s one thing the Sakara Life instills, it’s that rules, restrictions, and toxic stress have no place in a life focused on pleasure and empowerment. And no one walks that walk like best friends and Sakara founders Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle, who are both expecting this year. Danielle is awaiting her second child in New York, while Whitney is having her first, residing in Sedona in her final weeks.
It was the ideal moment to ask the women about how they’re approaching prenatal self-care and nourishment with their unique lens as well-being experts and pleasure-seekers. Here, they share personal discoveries, the nutrients they’re prioritizing, some unexpected physical revelations, and what’s exciting about this next life season.
On Pre-Pre-Pregnancy Priorities:
Whitney: Before, my nutrition was about optimizing my physicality and vitality, fueling my body for work and brainpower, having clear skin and creating a body I felt sexy in. Then, in pre-pregnancy, I was eating to nourish my eggs, balance my hormones, and build a strong, healthy uterus. I focused on building a body strong enough to house another being with The Foundation. It includes ashwagandha, which is great for balancing the HPA axis, something important for fertility, so my husband and I were both on them. Dr. Aviva Romm says supplements and fertility nutrition take a minimum of 3 months to do their job, as it takes that long for the nourished eggs to come to maturity in your body.
Being pregnant has made me feel more comfortable in my own body.
On Zero Food Guilt:
Danielle: Pre-Sakara, I never would’ve let myself have multiple croissants a week, but now I let myself lean into these cravings because I’ve created such a divine homebase. I eat Sakara every single day—every doctor and medical professional on the planet would tell you pregnancy is a time to nourish with whole, clean foods and lots of plants. I fill up on these superfoods, minerals, phytonutrients, plant fiber and antioxidants, and listen to my body to know if I need more, whether that’s an extra protein boost from Protein + Greens Super Powder or a Detox Super Bar. For added essential fats and minerals, I might add ghee (I only eat unpasteurized butter from grass-fed, pastured cows—my favorite is Essex Farms CSA) to Sakara breakfasts like the Chocolate Love Muffin or Rose Petal Pancakes. Most importantly, I relied on our Sakara Prenatal in the first trimester when it was hard to stomach anything other than crackers. It’s so nutritive and unlike many other prenatals, it truly covers all the bases, including not only your vitamins but also healing, plant foods like greens. I feel so good about the Eat Clean and Play Dirty life I’m living right now ;)
now I let myself lean into these cravings because I’ve created such a divine homebase.
On Riding the Hormonal Waves:
Whitney: I’ve had recurring bouts of candida overgrowth (very common during pregnancy due to fluctuating hormones), which is really not fun. So, I’ve had to be extra mindful of what I choose to eat. Leafy greens isn’t the most appetizing thing on the menu when pregnant, but if it’s a choice between that or the discomfort of yeast overgrowth, I’ll take the greens. I’ve also been supplementing with extra probiotics to help manage, as our Sakara Complete Probiotic contains a special enzyme called chitosanase that specifically breaks down and eliminates candida in the body. Instead of standard topicals or over-the-counter creams, it takes getting down to the root cause and supporting the body’s overall immune system—remember 70 percent of your immune system is in the gut!—to ensure these imbalances are kept at bay for good.
On Nixing Stress to “Get Your Body Back”:
Danielle: While we called my first baby Star all throughout my first pregnancy (and still do), this time around, the cosmic being feels like Sun energy. My first pregnancy forced me to come to peace with the metamorphosis that takes place—from expanding belly to swollen hips and feet to tender, milky breasts—it’s a lot! It also hit me harder because it was all so new. This pregnancy my body is comfortable in the change—it’s familiar— so there’s a grace and ease to the transformation. I’m not stressed or worried about what will happen physically or if I’ll get my “body back.” I’m just enjoying the ride.
On Mama Bod Revelations:
Whitney: Being pregnant has made me feel more comfortable in my own body. Physically, obviously there’s so much change. I’ve experienced pains of growth and stretching of the ligaments in my belly. I now realize that the pelvis isn’t a single solid bone but has joints that are moveable (and can also get sore). I’ve seen the areolas of my nipples expand and change in color, which is fascinating to me, because it’s truly amazing how nature works in perfect harmony—so that the baby can find them in the earliest days of life. On average I send Danielle about 40 texts a day with questions like, “Is this normal?“ And it all is.
On Cultivating Gentle, Empowered Energy:
Danielle: I’ve been practicing Kundalini meditations, re-reading Spirit Babies, and I follow accounts like Empowered Birth Project that remind me of the majesty that is giving birth and why an empowered birth matters.
Whitney: I’ve been reading Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering and Why Did No One Tell Me This? I also am practicing Hypnobabies meditations, and Danielle threw me a virtual blessingway to help my transition to this new chapter of life.
Motherhood is a practice in unconditional love... a love that we are meant to bring to every human, not just our children.
On Unfathomable Heart Expansion:
Whitney: Mentally and emotionally I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I’m going to have a child. I think I still don’t know what it means until it happens. From what I hear, the feelings are pretty unfathomable. I have a friend named Kfir who is an amazing father of three. He said that when he found out he was having a third child he was worried because he didn’t think he had any more room left in his heart to love another child. And then the third came and he said his heart expanded even further than he thought possible. Hearing that makes me excited to share this kind of unconditional love.
On Big Motherhood Lessons:
Danielle: I’m excited to witness Whitney having her heart cracked wide open to motherhood, see how amazing her body is, and know what life is all about! Motherhood reorients you toward what truly matters. It is a practice in unconditional love...a love that we are meant to bring to every human, not just our children. It is because of Mothers (biological or in practice) that we can have hope of a bright future, a hope that we’ll soften into love and devote ourselves to the whole, not just the self or chosen few. Nothing brings you to your knees like loving another unconditionally. Imagine if we could all bow to one another in love and gratitude no matter who they are. The soul in me sees the soul in you, and nothing else matters.
*MORE SAKARA RESOURCES: PRENATAL WORKOUTS, PREGNANCY BEAUTY ROUTINES, AND MAMA-TO-BE MUSINGS*