Sakara Life is one of those subscription boxes that's always being advertised to me on Facebook. That's probably because, when I'm not on Facebook, I'm usually searching for creative plant-based recipes and reading articles about the healing power of a whole-foods-rich diet. I love the idea of a healthy, clean eating plan, but to be honest, I'm often too busy to keep up with one. (Or at least a diet that's more interesting than just eating the same simple salad every day!)
The beauty of Sakara Life is that this meal delivery service does the planning and meal prep for you. Unlike most meal kits I've tried, which send you recipes and the raw ingredients to cook them yourself, Sakara Life sends you several days of pre-prepped dishes that are almost completely ready to eat, right out of the box (give or take a few minutes of heating or stirring). But that's not all! Sakara Life also provides guidance, snacks, and other extras to help transform your lifestyle, as well as your menu.
Sakara Life offers several "programs" tailored to different needs. Today, I'll be reviewing the 3-Day version of their Signature Program, which includes breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, plus functional beverages and detox teas for $239 (per week). They also offer a program called the Level II Detox, which is more of an intensive cleanse, and a 20-day plan designed especially for brides.
One of the main concerns I hear about Sakara Life (and my main concern signing up) is how expensive it is. I'll talk through whether I think Sakara Life is worth it at the end of this review. I'll also talk about the overall impacts of adopting the Sakara lifestyle (even if only for 3 days)!
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Sakara Life Organic Meal Delivery Service
The Subscription Box: Sakara Life
The Cost: Choose from the Sakara Life 3-Day Signature Program for $239 per week (what I'll be reviewing today) or the 5-Day Signature Program for $420 per week. If you're interested in a more intense cleanse, Sakara Life also offers their Level II Detox program (5 days for $450 or 10 days for $849), or if you're prepping for wedding season, try their 20-day bridal plan (20 days for $1680). They also recently launched a 10-Day Reset, which includes a 10-day supply of Sakara Life snacks, teas, and extras, plus a booklet of recipes for $195.
The Products: Organic, clean, nutrient-rich meals, pre-prepped and ready to enjoy. (Some meals require a few minutes of heating, but some are ready to be enjoyed right out of the fridge.) Sakara Life's gluten-free, dairy-free products are created in collaboration with both chefs and nutritionists to ensure they're nourishing and delicious. (Read more about their 9 Pillars of Nutrition here.) In addition to the meals themselves, Sakara Life also sends you snacks, supplements, and guidance on organic nutrition and mindful eating/living.
Good to Know: You can skip weeks or cancel your subscription at any time. Also, if you like the sound of clean, nutrient-rich snacks, but aren't ready to commit to a meal program, head over to the Sakara Life Clean Boutique to shop their proprietary goodies and supplements.
Ships to: Continental US. You'll enter your zip code before ordering to make sure you're good to go 🙂
Sakara Life 3-Day Signature Program Review
Other meal-kit subscription boxes I've tried have you set preferences and choose meals before your box is sent. Not so with Sakara Life. What you get in the box is preset—sorry picky eaters! If you're curious, though, you can see what's on the upcoming menu for your zip code here. They allow you to skip a week or cancel if you're not feelin' it!
Here's a glimpse at the unboxing process. I love their cool, sleek branding. It feels like something you'd find at a hip spa or hotel.
I subscribed primarily for the meals, but I was honestly pretty excited pulling back the shiny silver insulation and seeing all the bountiful goodies I got!
The meals are packaged neatly beneath the layer of snacks and extras.
Even the ice packs in the box are branded!
This card lists of the meals on this week's menu. Note that the menu lists all of the meals available for the week—as I'm doing the 3-day plan, I only have 3 meals from each category. You're also probably noticing the mantra on this menu card. Mindfulness is a huge part of the Sakara Life program, whether you're at the table or just going about your day. We'll talk a little deeper about that in a sec.
The names on the menu with a flame symbol next to them are meals that are best when they're heated up. The back of the menu has instructions for how best to heat those dishes, based on what they are.
Topping off the box was this clear plastic bag, which contains what's essentially the starter kit for the Sakara program.
There are some expected pieces of information inside, such as this card explaining what to do with your packaging...
... and this card advertising Sakara's online shop, where you can buy their snacks and supplements without subscribing to a plan. (No meals, though!)
Okay, so this booklet really impressed me. Most subscription boxes come with some kind of info card or mini magazine listing the items in the box. But this booklet functions as a starter manual for the Sakara way of living and eating. There's nutrition information, guidance on the optimal way to time out your eating through the day, information on the value of organic food, descriptions of the kinds of ingredients you'll find in Sakara recipes, information on mindful living, and more. It's a nice, thorough introduction to what can seem like an overwhelming program, especially if you're diving in to clean eating for the first time.
Here's a quick look at some of the info from the booklet, including some words from founders Danielle DuBoise and Whitney Tingle.
This quick list reiterates what I received in the box as well as what to keep in mind as I enjoy it all.
This schedule for eating was a little intimidating for me at first, given my busy schedule, but I gave it a (mostly successful) shot!
This spread breaks down Sakara Life's 9 Pillars of Nutrition. I think the aspect I appreciate most is the first one—"Count Nutrients, Not Calories". I remember trying to manage calorie intake in the past and finding it so frustrating, and at least for me, ineffective. If anything, it made me paranoid about how many calories I was eating, rather than how I felt when I ate a certain food (both physically and mentally). So for me, personally, that tenet was nice to see.
This page is a little reminder of why organic is so important. According to another page in the booklet, Sakara Life produce can go from the farm to a customer's doorstep in under 48 hours! That's pretty darn fresh.
This might be my favorite page. I love learning about fun new ingredients and their benefits!
Now, this item is a little less expected for a meal delivery box! Palo Santo, as the accompanying card explains, is a holy wood that when burned, is said to have a cleansing effect. It works similarly to incense—just light the end for a moment, blow it out, and let the aromatic smoke drift into the air as it smolders. I tend to like the smell of palo santo, but I do know some folks who aren't so hot on it. It's a very light woody scent, but there's a kind of rubbery quality to it that you might not expect. Regardless, I think it's really interesting that this food box would go so far as to include a spiritual tool typically used to set the tone for meditation! Remember how I mentioned that mindfulness is a key to this program?
Sakara Life Teas, Snacks, & Supplements
The rest of the bag was filled with Sakara-branded products that are meant to complement my meals and help kickstart a more healthy routine. Going through these items was where I realized that my Sakara Life box truly was a program—they don't just want you to eat well, but to nourish yourself between meal times, too.
Sakara Life Detox Tea with Red Rooibos + Lemongrass + Rose, 3 packs of 2 sachets each - Buy 20 sachets for $20.00 here
A huge part of the Sakara Life program, and arguably the hardest part for me to adapt to, is hydration. Starting as soon as you wake up in the morning, the Sakara Life plan calls for you to start drinking water, whether it's by itself, with a supplement (which we'll talk about in a moment), or via a cup of this 100% plant-based, gluten-free, organic tea. More specifically, they suggest this tea be enjoyed once in the mid-morning hours, and once in the afternoon. In other words, during the times I usually reach for an office-snack-cabinet granola bar or another cup of coffee, I was now sipping on another big cup of tea.
I don't really love rooibos teas, but I found this blend to be really enjoyable. Even hot, it's refreshing enough to gently shake me out of my mid-day slump. The rose and rooibos are delicate enough not to overpower the fresh bright flavor of the lemongrass (which I love). And I was surprised how little I missed my usual snacks. Granted, I brewed BIG cups of this tea (like 20 oz. big), but it was enough to satisfy me, hydrate me, and keep me feeling peppy between meals.
Next up, chocolate!!! I am a big chocolate fan, so I adore the idea of incorporating even just a bite or two of it into my daily routine. These chocolate pyramids are each about the size of a peanut M&M, but with less junk and more nutritional power. Each morsel has 10 billion CFUs inside, plus high-quality raw dark chocolate, prebiotic yacon root, which nourishes existing gut microbes, and just 1g of coconut sugar. The idea is that you'd eat one per day as a little treat, but being that I only had 3 days of Sakara Life to enjoy, I treated myself to a second for two of my days. No shame! This chocolate is probably better for me than some entire meals I've had!
Sakara Life Detox Water Concentrates, 2 oz. each - Retail Value $39.00
In addition to the tea I mentioned earlier, the booklet also recommends drinking a big glass of water when you first wake up in the morning and again at night, before bed. To increase the impact of those glasses of water, they suggest mixing your water with 5 full droppers of one of these concentrates. Though the Detox water has a bluish hue, I was surprised that neither concentrate made a huge difference in how my water tasted. The concentrates have the consistency of water, too, so there's no odd texture or strong flavor to worry about.
This rose water and silica blend is supposed to help "flood [my] cells with hydration and gently wake up the body while calming the adrenals." I will say I started each day feeling more refreshed than usual, and especially by day 3 when my morning-coffee cravings were dying down. I'm not entirely sure whether that's the work of the Beauty Water or just the fact that I had a morning water routine for the first time ever, hehe!
As for Detox Water, this concentrate was to be enjoyed with an evening glass of water. Its blend of chlorophyll and magnesium are said to "cleanse [the] body and help [me] fall into restorative, deep sleep." I'm not sure this changed my sleeping habits, but I did notice that by the third day, I woke up feeling a little more truly awake than I have before. (As opposed to groggy or sluggish.)
Sakara Classic White Tote - Retail Value $15.00
This big shopper-sized bag was also in the box! It's sizable enough to use as a gym or grocery bag, and it's sturdy, too!
Sakara Life Signature Program Breakfasts
Okay, let's get to the food! I figured I'd break things down by category, so you can get an idea of the kinds of meals Sakara Life offers. At the end, I'll wrap up with some observations about how filling (and fulfilling!) the program was day to day and as a whole!
Sakara Life Sapphire Parfait with Superfood Cacao Crunch
How gorgeous is this blue color?! The pale blue hue of this vegan coconut yogurt comes from spirulina, which is rich in protein, antioxidants, and B-vitamins. I like that the label on the lid gives a quick rundown of what you're about to eat and why it's so good for you. The label suggests that you snap a pic before digging in, but I have to admit, the opened jar isn't the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, hehe. The good news is, it tastes great! Mixed into the yogurt (which has a looser, melted ice-cream consistency to it) are chunks of yummy cacao and macerated berries (I identified strawberries and blackberries bobbing in the blueness...) for a bit of texture and added sweetness. I really liked the gentle tartness of the yogurt, too.
Sakara Life Zen Zucchini Muffin with Coconut Bliss Creme
Folks, if I could eat this muffin every day for the rest of my life, I would!!! I was definitely not expecting something so scrumptious to be included in this very healthy box. The muffin is made with fiber-rich parsnips and zucchini and anandamide, a mood-boosting ingredient that I'm just now learning about from this subscription! The muffin is moist and tender and lightly sweet and nutty, but the thing that pushes it over the edge is the Coconut Bliss Creme. There's a yogurt-like zip to this frosting-like concoction that I found extremely yummy, plus the vanilla-like flavor made me feel like I was snacking on a coffee-shop pastry. The blueberries are a nice side dish for this breakfast, but I can't get my mind off of that magical muffin!
Sakara Life Pink Silk Mylk and Sakara Glow Granola
This is undoubtedly the prettiest breakfast I've eaten in awhile! The granola had more of a lighter, toastier, sesame-seed flavor than I expected, and with the lightly sweet, pitaya-flavored Pink Silk Mylk poured over it, this dish was much brighter and more upbeat than any bowl of cold cereal I've had in the past. I think it's interesting how these dishes emphasize ingredients that work with your brain and mood in addition to the rest of your body. This one includes albizia, which is supposed to encourage calm and happiness.
Sakara Life Signature Program Lunches
Next up, lunch! Who's up for some greens?
Sakara Life Black Garlic Burger with Smoky BBQ Drizzle
Wow was this burger ever yummy! I love a great veggie burger. Not the kind that is trying to taste like real meat—the kind that is rich with tender, beautifully cooked veggies. Tucked beneath this pile of zucchini and delicious roasted potatoes is a beet, zucchini, and shiitake burger made with immune-boosting, inflammation-fighting black garlic. The flavor is smoky and super savory. It's not quite a chargrilled masterpiece, but it is incredibly hearty, especially when paired with its accompanying bowl of mixed greens and the mildly tangy BBQ sauce.
Sakara Life Beet Rawvioli with Toasted Broccolini
Italian-inspired flavors are my favorite things to eat, so I was intrigued by this raw take on ravioli. Obviously, there's no cheese nor pasta here, but I was surprised by how satisfied these little sandwiches of beet and cashew cheese left me. I'd say they're more of a beet lasagna than a beet ravioli, but that didn't matter to me too much. I liked how the earthy sweetness of the beets played with the mild saltiness of the cashew cheese. Broccoli is a fave of mine, so I was also thrilled to munch on some broccolini. The trick of this dish, in my opinion, was to heat the broccolini and ravioli with the pesto sauce already on top—I loved the savory, heartwarming flavors it brought out. And if that didn't fill me up, the hearty serving of salad certainly did!
Sakara Life Sunshine Curry Bowl with Purple Coconut Rice
I loved this curry soooo much! It was so deliciously warm, too. The mix of veggies, from spinach and broccoli to purple potatoes and peas made for one of the most hearty, filling dishes of the week. The dish was relatively mild, with the creamy curry sauce bringing flavor to the table without a lot of heat. I always forget how simple and delicious curries can be—this one reminds me I should make them more often!
Sakara Life Signature Program Dinners
I was surprised by how satisfied this plan left me each day. I think the volume of greens I was eating at lunch alone made dinnertime feel like a pleasant surprise rather than something I'd been starving for all afternoon.
Sakara Life Truffle Kale Salad with Wild Mushroom Toast
A younger version of me would be bewildered by how open I am to eating mushrooms. (They used to be my LEAST favorite food.) But with dishes like this, how could I refuse? The blend of mushrooms on top of this "toast" (which is more densely nutty and grain-rich than bready) isn't just rich in nutrients, but suuuuper flavorful. It tasted like something they'd serve on Thanksgiving at a super chic 5-star restaurant. The salad dressing blew my mind, too. It was really truffle-y with a creamy, thick consistency that coated each leaf in savory goodness. This dish really did feel upscale as well as nutritious!
Sakara Life Savannah Ginger Almond Noodles
I'll be honest, this wasn't my most mindful meal of the week. I had something to do in the evening, so I just grabbed the box that said "Wednesday" without taking the time to read the description of what I was about to indulge in. First, this dish smelled AMAZING even as I was heating it up in the microwave. Second, I was delighted to find that it had NOODLES in it! Granted, they are black bean noodles, which are a little stiffer and not as creamy as what you might expect from traditional spaghetti, but when warmed up around the tangy cabbage and that zesty, nutty sauce, they taste every bit as satisfying. The potatoes complemented this dish perfectly, too. I ended up dumping some of the warm mixture over the greens for a sort of warm salad.
Sakara Life Revitalizing Risotto with Citrus-Glazed Squash and Balsamic Tomatoes
Holy cow, was this Mediterranean-inspired dish ever delicious. I'm usually not a fan of Brussels sprouts and squash, but the flavors each component had marinated in made these veggies somehow both sweet and savory at the same time. The consistency of the quinoa "risotto" was also amazing—I love the comforting creaminess of traditional risotto, and they nailed that here with what the label calls "food alchemy". I walked away from this meal feeling fully satisfied but not so satisfied that I wanted to take a nap on the couch, which is my body's usual reaction to traditional, heftier risotto!
The Verdict: I loved everything I received from Sakara Life. The food was excellent and SO creative, too! I feel like I ate more greens in a 3 day period than ever before, but never once was I bored. I was also impressed by how FULL I felt. They really do keep you satisfied with oodles of fiber and plenty of healthy fats. The biggest impact, for me, was probably adding water to my routine. While I didn't feel any real major impacts from the Beauty and Detox concentrates, I definitely felt the impact of regularly drinking water (and tea, but sans caffeine). It impacted my mood, my energy, and most importantly, how hungry I felt throughout the day. With my thirst quenched, I was less likely to get peckish mid-afternoon and turn to a not-so-nutritious snack.
Now for the big question—is Sakara Life worth it? First, let me say that I feel like I definitely got what I paid for. You can see, taste, and feel the effort the brand puts into crafting well-rounded, nutritious, and most importantly, flavorful meals that you'll actually enjoy. And getting all of the little extras along the way, from the chocolates and concentrates to the palo santo and the thorough info booklet, made me feel... taken care of, is the best way to put it. That said, it is pricey for me. The items I could find individual retail values for (the concentrates and the bag) added up to $54.00. That leaves $185 worth of value left to make up the price of the box. If I divvy that up by the meals alone, that's $20.56 per dish. Or, if I divide that number by the rest of the items I got (so, the 9 meals plus the sample jar of chocolates, set of teas, and palo santo stick), that's $15.42 per item. You get the idea—it's essentially as much per meal as I might spend eating at an upscale restaurant. I don't want to say the value isn't there—the curation, the convenience, the presentation is all beautiful—but it's more than I'd personally want to regularly spend for just three days of food.
That said, I could see treating yourself to one round of Sakara Life as a reset or to lead up to a special event. The things I learned by doing the program will definitely stick with me—choosing whole foods and making sure I'm getting as much fiber as possible per meal, and of course, drinking lots more water. In other words, I'm totally bought into the lifestyle, I just don't think I'm able to buy into the product right now.
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: The 3-Day Signature Program I tried cost $239 (per weekly box). That breaks down to $26.56 per meal, or if you count all of the extra products you get in addition to the meals (14 items total), $17.07 for each item.
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What do you think of Sakara Life? Have you tried this service before?