Sakara Life Wants to Help Everyone From Your Neighbor to Runway Models
Written By: Chelsea Raineri
Photography Provided By: Sakara Life
At some point in every woman’s life, she’s stood in the mirror and wondered why she didn’t look a certain way. Be it skin issues or not reaching the unachievable standards set for women, it’s almost impossible not to fall victim to this mindset. Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise, founders of Sakara Life, were no different. “[Sakara Life] didn’t start out as a business, it really started as a solution to our own needs,” Danielle explained.
As childhood friends, Danielle moved to New York to study medicine, and Whitney made the move after she finished college to work on Wall Street. “Whitney and I hit rock bottom right around the same time,” Danielle said. Having struggled with severe, cystic acne since she was young, Whitney tried everything from lasers and antibiotics to cutting out foods with no relief. She was hopeful that New York, a city filled with top doctors and dermatologists would provide her with what she needed to rid her of the painful acne, only to find the same answers she was given before. “She just felt like no one was helping her get to the root cause and that was really her lowest low,” Danielle said.
Around that same time, Danielle, who struggled with her body image, hit her low as well. “I remember being 9 years old and trying to hide diet pills in the cart at Costco when I was shopping with my mom,” she explained. “I had been informed by those around me and culture and magazines that I didn’t look like I should in a way that manifested over the years to come and I [started to rely] on diets. It was never really about my nutrition or my health; it was really about my waistline.”
Before she was about to graduate, Danielle decided to participate in a 21-day-long retreat in Arizona that included a one-week water fast, followed by eating only raw foods for the duration. Once she returned, she was diagnosed with gut issues, pneumonia and a low immune system. “That was really my ‘ah-ha’ moment where I just realized that I was so willing to go to these extremes because of this body I thought I had to have or that I didn’t have,” she said. “I had strayed so far from this idea that food is nourishment and food is medicine.” Although she had been studying medicine, she was never required to take a nutrition class, so she switched paths and changed her focus.
Doing so gave Danielle the opportunity to learn about the gut and microbiome, the bacteria in your gut that dictates everything about your health from your hormonal balance and energy levels, to how many calories you absorb from your food. “The way to eat for a healthy gut and microbiome is to get as many fresh plants into your diet every single day and to get a variety of color, which means a variety of nutrients,” Danielle explained. After learning about the importance of the microbiome, she and Whitney devised a meal plan for each other based on the science behind it, which helped to form Sakara’s nine pillars of nutrition.
After just two weeks, they started to see results. “It was the first time in 12 years that [Whitney’s] skin finally started to clear after trying so many things. And for me, my transition was realizing I spent a lifetime counting calories and carbs and always worrying about what not to eat, when really the solution was I needed to focus on what I should eat.”
After seeing tangible results, Whitney and Danielle shared this newfound information with their friends, who obviously wanted to get in on it. Once they had several clients, they took note of the importance of providing a ready-to-eat product, rather than offering just recipes. “We decided to try and make it a business. We had no idea what we were doing. We were really broke. We threw a dinner party and we sold tickets that raised about $700…that’s really how we got started,” Danielle recalled.
Once word got out, Sakara Life took off. “If you create a product that really changes lives, it spreads like wildfire,” Danielle said. And spread it did! Organically reaching celebrities like Lily Aldridge, the company grew from the founders cooking in their kitchen in 2012 to now employing 100 people and delivering to all 48 continental states. “We deliver fresh so nothing is frozen. Everything has to look beautiful, it has to taste really good and it has to deliver results,” she said.
In fact, within just three to five days, you can expect to see your skin glowing and a reduction in bloat, and within three weeks you’ll experience a biological and sociological change that will last for weeks to come. The best part? There’s no calorie counting and no guilt—all they ask is that you put your trust into Sakara Life and you will see real results that customers across the nation have experienced. “It’s really a personal journey. For me, the empowering part of this journey is [that] food is supposed to make you feel better, not worse,” Danielle said. “We invite you to get to know your body a little bit better and really learn how to listen.”
Model Fit: Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge was one of Sakara’s first clients!
Cheat Day: “We don’t really believe in cheating. We believe you are what you do the majority of the time. Now there’s no guilt. If I want French fries and a martini I’m gonna have it.”
R&D: Sakara Life’s research and development process takes three to six months from the time a recipe is thought of to when it hits the rotation. It has to go through nutritional testing and delivery testing as well.
Native Knowledge: Sakara Life is sanskrit for “taking form.”