Hilary Duff & Gwyneth Paltrow Love This Meal Delivery Brand — And Now I Do, Too
Sakara lives up to the hype.
Like many self-proclaimed wellness-obsessed people, I’ve been fascinated with Sakara’s meal delivery program since Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle launched it all the way back in 2012. Not only that, I’ve tried — and loved — many of Sakara’s Clean Boutique products over the years, and have been perfecting recipes from its founders’ cookbook, Eat Clean, Play Dirty, basically from its publication date. The reason for my obsession is multi-fold: Not only do the brand’s meals just look incredible, but they count a lot of celebrities (including Hilary Duff, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Drew Barrymore) as fans. Needless to say, I’ve been dying to try it — which is why, when I recently got the opportunity to, I all but jumped on it.
Granted, I was still a little nervous. Yes, Sakara has lots of glowing reviews and a notable celebrity fan base, but it’s also entirely plant-based — a way of eating I’ve never really tried before. While I try to eat a lot of vegetables with every meal, I almost always include some type of meat or fish because I get hungry if I don’t; so, its dishes would definitely be a change.
Nevertheless, I love Sakara’s philosophy. Rather than focusing on things like losing weight or counting calories, the company uses chefs and science to inform its meals to be nutrient dense, fresh, and delicious, so that you just feel good when you eat them. With all of that in mind, I set out to put its Signature Organic Meal Delivery the test to see if it actually delivered — and here, I’ve detailed my full experience.
Sakara Meal Program Review: The Delivery
The delivery of three days of fresh food was something that I was apprehensive about, but Sakara proved most of my doubts wrong. I received all the meals (which the brand chooses for you in a set menu) on a late Tuesday afternoon, just before I was supposed to eat my first Sakara dinner.
Everything (which included nine gluten-, dairy-, and meat-free meals, Detox Tea, and the Complete Probiotic) arrived in one big box, and each meal was packaged in a plastic container surrounded by ice packs and a box liner. My program had breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the dishes on that week’s menu were things like a protein power plate with curried lentils, veggies, and turmeric flatbread; a silky Thai soup with a salad; and granola with green goddess mylk. To be completely honest, some things did look a little wilt-y by the time it got to my door (nothing actually was, but more on that later), but overall the food seemed fresh and secure.
An obvious downside to Sakara’s delivery, however, is the amount of packaging. That said, the company has recently ramped up its efforts to make that part of the program more sustainable, so that many of the materials used are made from recycled products and are recyclable themselves. (More info is available about its practices on its Sustainability page and in its FAQs.) Additionally, it’s not easy to avoid lots of packaging when ordering any pre-made meals straight to your home, so that’s likely something you’d have to take into account no matter the brand.
Sakara Meal Program Review: The Food
While I was definitely excited about Sakara’s food, again, I was still slightly worried about following a fully plant-based diet for three days. Plus, the meals did look kind of small — and I don’t fill up easily.
For the most part, I had nothing to worry about. In fact, I was shocked at how satisfied I was after many of the dishes; there were even some I had trouble finishing. I do wish that it was possible to see the nutritional information — Sakara doesn’t count or share calories, and neither do I, for that matter, but I do like to know exactly what I’m getting out of my food when I eat it. However, the company does work with a team of doctors and nutritionists to ensure its meals are high in fiber, protein, and water-rich ingredients and keep you full and energetic throughout the day — and with the exception of one or two meals, that was certainly the case for me.
In terms of freshness, I was blown away. Not one of Sakara’s dishes went remotely bad — even if they didn’t always look like they were straight out of the kitchen, they tasted like they’d just been made, all the way through Friday. The flavor was equally impressive: For every meal besides the protein power plate (and that just came down to personal preference — my meal had a slightly gritty texture I wasn’t a fan of), I couldn’t stop raving. I love vegetables, but even I didn’t realize they could taste that good. (The silky Thai soup was the perfect example — I actually expected to hate it but ended up licking the bowl.) The level of flavor Sakara manages to pack into everything is wild.
Hands down, though, the best part of the Sakara program was the convenience. Nothing required cooking — and while I had the option heat up a few of the meals, even that never took more than 10 minutes. It allowed me to just grab each dish and throw it into a bowl three times a day, which cut down hours of the normal time I spend making food at home.
Sakara Meal Program Review: The Cost
I was fortunate enough to test three days of the Sakara meals for free, but I think the actual cost would be very prohibitive for most people. For a one-time, three-day program with three meals a day like mine (sent to my particular zip code), it’s around $250 — roughly $100 more than I spend on a full week of groceries for my two-person household.
I do think it’s worth it for the convenience and the nutritional expertise you’re getting if you can afford it; however, it’s definitely far outside of my usual budget, and I’d probably only consider paying for it myself before a special occasion to ensure I felt my best.
Sakara Meal Program Review: Final Thoughts
For the most part, Sakara took all my expectations and blew them out of the water. Yes, there’s a lot of packaging, and a couple of meals weren’t quite filling enough. But, it’s hard to beat the convenience of this program, and I had a blast eating three dishes a day that were so packed with flavor.
On top of that, I felt great after eating Sakara for half a week. I was mainly interested in the system for its health benefits, since I’m always trying to get more nutrition into my meals. And from what I could tell, it delivered: I felt more energetic after every soup, salad, and bowl I ate, which, for someone as generally lethargic as I am, is quite a feat.
It’s pricey, without a doubt, so I won’t be making this a regular part of my routine (though don’t get me wrong, I would if money was no object). But I’d recommend it without hesitation to anyone who can easily afford it, and I might just indulge myself every now and again as a treat. To me, it’s worth every penny.
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