What do you get when you take two health junkies from Sedona, put them in NYC, and surround them with subpar fast casual options? You get Sakara Life, the healthy eating program designed specifically for busy women (or men) such as themselves, myself, and you.
Danielle and Whitney, who have been friends since they were young bucks, saw a void in the healthy delivery service industry a couple of years back and filled it with some serious sex appeal. Their philosophy is uncomplicated: a balanced lifestyle heals all.
But don’t just take their striking good looks as confirmation that their meal program works. Danielle has expertise in holistic healing, while Whitney is a certified yoga instructor– boom.
Now over two years since its inception, Whitney and Danielle have been able to grow their business at a steadfast speed and have recently moved into their dream office in the heart of Soho. We sat down with the ladies to chat business, their favorite Sakara Life meals, and what their biggest guilty pleasures are. Check out what the wellness savants had to say:
Briefly, take us through your day to day.
I like to start my day off with a workout so that my body and brain can wake up together. There are so many magical studios in this city that will help connect you to your body and I love starting my day off in one of those spaces. By the time I get to the office to enjoy my Sakara breakfast and start answering emails, I’m already dancing with different ideas and inspirations. Each day gets swept up in meetings pretty quickly and before I know it, it’s 4 o clock and my body is craving some serious Sakara nourishment– I’m grateful every single day to have such fresh, loving food at my fingertips. If we don’t have evening meetings, Whit and I tend stay pretty late in the office. Late at night when all the dust from the day has settled, our creativity is strongest, and it’s hard to complain when you’re hanging out with your best friend. During the day we hustle, at night we create.
Sakara Life has been in business a couple of years now. What has been one of the most exciting things that has happened to date?
Honestly, there have been so many moments throughout the past couple of years that have just rocked my world– everything from the very first morning Whit and I rode our bikes at 4 am to deliver the first ever round of Sakara meals, to our first big feature in Goop (!), to the beautiful Sakara space our team just moved into in Soho. We have so many exciting things in the works right now– features, expansions, new products, collaborations, etc. But it’s still sitting down at the end of the day and reading emails from our amazing clients (seriously, we have the best clients in the world) that excites me most. It reminds me each and every day what we have created.
Take us through the process of your menu. How do you design it and how customizable is it?
Designing the menu takes some serious determination and a whole lot of love! Each meal is a brainchild of either Whitney’s or mine and from there it goes into rounds and rounds of tweaks until every little detail is just right. We become compulsively obsessed with each meal’s taste, consistency, presentation, and nutritional profile, in addition to how the meal invigorates every one of your senses, what your experience interacting with the meal is like, and how satisfied both your body + spirit feel hours later. Because each day and week are nutritionally balanced, we strongly urge our clients to stick to the full program as it is designed. However, allergies are a very real thing that many of us struggle with and we are happy to substitute up to 3.
Things get stressful for entrepreneurs, especially in NYC. What’s your secret to staying sane in this chaotic city?
Having each other. And our partners, and our amazing sakara team, and even our clients. The people in our lives truly keep us grounded, help show us the lives we are changing on a daily basis, and reconnect us to why it is we created Sakara. Walks to green space where I can say hello to mother nature, coffee outside of the office with a friend, afternoon yoga sessions with a colleague, or even a mid-day kiss on a corner with my man (too much???) all do the trick.
We’re loving the content partnership with The Coveteur! What other company would you love to partner with?
We’ve got quite the list! Come check out our vision board if you’re ever in the area, and you’ll see the very first step in creating all of these partnerships with such amazing companies. It’s more about the people than the company.
You’re both from Sedona, Arizona. Where else in the world do you love escaping to for some R&R?
With everything moving full speed ahead with Sakara these days, I’ve really been taking advantage of the escapes us New Yorkers have at our fingertips. Upstate farms are immediately grounding for me. Woodstock always feels so magical, and I recently went to Fire Island for the first time and fell in love! Whenever I can sneak away for a good chunk of time, I love road trips. My fiancé and I rent a convertible, stock up on some podcasts, and hit the road.
Favorite Sakara Life dish:
Balancing Macro Plate w/ Creamy Avocado + Tahini Dressing. Balance is good.
Favorite restaurant dish:
Fill in the blank: I eat ___ when I’m dying to indulge.
Dark chocolate. Less when I’m dying to indulge and more like…at least once a day.
There are other healthy eating programs out there. Why do you think Sakara Life has been so successful and what sets you apart from competition?
There are lots of healthy eating programs out there, but there is nothing like Sakara– trust us, we’ve tried every single one! Danielle and I are picky as can be when it comes to the quality, taste, and design of our meals, and all of the love, attention, and care we pour into each dish is totally transparent. You’re getting the best of the best when you get Sakara, and your tongue can taste it and your body can FEEL it. Sakara is not just a healthy meal program, it’s a lifestyle. We urge you to listen to your body, to dissect your cravings, to connect to your emotional health. We talk about the importance of nourishing all aspects of your life – movement, relationships, creativity, knowledge, etc.– not just your body. We stimulate every single one of your senses with every single one of our dishes, reminding you to touch your food, smell it, heck, even place it next to your ear and see if it has got something to tell you! We preach that thorough chewing, deep breaths, and consciousness are more important than forks and knives, and that LOVE is the best dressing you can put on any meal.
List three NYC restaurants you’d bend your healthy ways for:
1. Croissants- anywhere
2. Root & Bone brunch
3. Keste pizza
What has been one of your most memorable customer stories?
I’ll never forget the first time a client told me her Sakara story. It was at our first ever S-Life Society meeting and this beautiful, commanding, vibrant woman was explaining to me how she had been diagnosed with Lupus years ago and had been seeing countless doctors and taking countless medications ever since and nothing was working. Her life had spiraled completely out of control as she fell victim to this disease until she somehow stumbled upon Sakara (this was back in the early stages of Sakara, so we like to think the universe brought her to us.) After 2 months of Sakara, she was completely off her meds, full of energy, kicking butt at the job she almost lost, head over heels in love, and finally feeling like herself again. Not to mention, glowing and downright sexy! She’s still a client today.
Other than your program, what would be your advice to the busy woman trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle?
Eat clean, play dirty! I can tell you very sincerely that sometimes I start my morning with a (organic, local, GMO-free) bacon + egg + cheese on a delicious freshly-baked bagel and I do not feel any which way about it, other than yum. If you commit to a baseline of fresh, healthy, nutrient-rich foods that LOVE your body, then you can indulge in the dirty from time to time. Relax into it. Love yourself when you’re eating clean, and love yourself when you’re playing dirty. Take deep breaths in between every single bite and send gratitude to your body for digesting, assimilating, and utilizing these nutrients so efficiently. Know that your body can handle it and that your next clean meal is right around the corner. This is the secret to both the body and life of your dreams.
Favorite Sakura Life dish:
Bean + Broccoli Tea Sandwiches w/ Yacon Dressing! So body+soul satisfying.
Favorite restaurant dish:
Fill in the blank: I eat ____ when I’m dying to indulge.
I’m a sucker for croissants.
What can your customers expect next from Sakara Life?
First and foremost, Sakara in more cities and more bodies! New exciting products for body+mind+soul, so that sakaralites can experience the full Sakara LIFE no matter where they are. Partnerships that are going to take your relationship with your health to the next level. We cannot wait to share these bad boys with our rockstar community.
To keep up with the Sakara Life team, follow their delicious and motivating Instagram account here, and if you’re looking to step your lifestyle game up, head to their site and sign up for the program here.