Take Three: Our Editors Tried Sakara’s Meal Delivery Program

Three Bleu editors tried Sakara, an organic meal delivery program that’s based on a whole-food, plant-rich diet that includes fresh, nutrient-dense, and delicious ingredients and a slogan that boasts “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” Read below for our detailed, unpaid, and unbiased reviews.

Sakara Chaga Chai Detox Bowl.
Sakara Chaga Chai Detox Bowl.

30-something, Editor-In-Chief, James Kicinski-McCoy

“I want to preface this review by telling you that this isn’t my first Sakara rodeo. I tried a complimentary three-day’s worth of meals several years ago, shortly after Sakara launched, and have also received the brand’s 10-day Reset, which I never completed. I somewhat regularly use the brand’s tea and Beauty Chocolates, which I love, and I have Sakara’s cookbook, which I haven’t used yet, but like to look at. Sakara has never paid me a dime. Okay, now that we have that out on the table, let me tell you about my most recent experience with the three-day meal delivery program.

Sakara delivers dinner for its first meal. Since they are shipping food across several states, this makes sense to me. My Sakara order arrived around 1pm on a Tuesday. I unpacked it and ate my Tuesday dinner that evening, then had breakfast, lunch, and dinner Wednesday and Thursday, and just breakfast and lunch on Friday. I figured it might be helpful to break down how their delivery system and meal schedule works. First thing to note: each meal is packaged in what seems like an alarming amount of plastic, which was also pointed out by my Instagram followers when I posted a photo of my Sakara delivery after it arrived. I went to the site to look up their discussion on packaging and was pleased to see that it’s made out of recycled plastic bottles. You can read more about the brand’s packaging here.

About the food: my first meal was Eggplant Medicinal Mole Tacos, a special, limited dish prepared by Sakara’s Resident Chef Mike Bagale from Chicago’s Alinea (have you see that episode of Chef’s Table? I highly recommend!). The tacos were absolutely incredible. I licked the plate. I was not full, however, and honestly could have eaten twice the serving amount, but damn, it was good. After I finished, I wrote down the ingredients list for the dish, so I could try to recreate it myself down the road. I ended up making myself a decent size salad with avocado and tahini dressing afterwards.

Wednesday: I ate my breakfast and lunch together around noon, as I am typically not a breakfast person. Sakara’s breakfasts are ridiculously good. Small, but tasty, and almost dessert-like. I wanted more, not because the portion was too tiny, but because it was SO delicious. Again, I wrote down the ingredients list in hopes of cracking the recipe and recreating myself at a later date. Lunch was a big and hearty salad with chickpeas, tahini dressing, and seed bread. I was very full and happy. For dinner I had the Beet Burger. Also delicious. One thing I will say is that Sakara makes some delicious plant-based food. I did end up eating more that night, but I am a nighttime grazer, so it’s in my nature to snack late.

Thursday was a little weird due to a series of strange events. I had my Sakara breakfast and lunch around midday like before (so good!), but that evening there was a big storm, the power went out for 13+ hours, and we ended up with a house full of teenagers stuck in the dark, bored out of their minds. I ended up eating my dinner at an odd hour by candlelight. It was a sweet potato noodle dish that I had to eat cold alongside a good-sized salad. The noodle dish was not good, which probably had nothing to do with the meal itself, but the fact that I was unable to heat it up. Again, I snacked on random things that night because that’s what I do.

Onto Friday and my last two meals: a granola and peach nut milk combo for breakfast and another salad for lunch. I added avocado and a little roasted salmon to my salad as it was a little too light for my appetite. Delicious, as always. I was very sad that my days of having healthy meals prepped and ready for me to grab out of the fridge had come to an end.

Here are my take aways: I really do love and enjoy Sakara’s food. They work magic with the recipes, especially the flavor profiles in the porridges, puddings, sauces, and dressings. It was inspiring and I want to recreate all of them, minus that unfortunate sweet potato noodle dish. I have only two beefs with Sakara. 1.) There is no nutritional information that comes along with the meals. I get that when you sit down at a restaurant there is usually no nutrition info either, but I think it would be nice to include that. Not the end of the world. 2.) I wish I could afford Sakara. For three days of meals for one person it costs $255. For five days of meals for one person it costs $440, unless you sign up for reoccurring weekly delivery, where you receive a slight discount. Of course, having a meal delivery service or personal chef is something of luxury that most people can’t fit into their regular budgets, and I am sure a business model like Sakara’s does involve great overhead costs, but the program isn’t attainable for most people and is not geared towards families. I would love to be able to eat this way much of the time, and it is super convenient for those with busy schedules like myself, but just not realistic. I am more excited than ever to dive into the cookbook after this, and I would highly recommend Sakara if you have the budget for it. You can tell the brand really cares about the product it’s putting out. If you are wanting to jumpstart a more healthy way of eating, I think trying a three or five day plan is an incredible source of motivation and worth every penny.”

Sakara's Classic Chopped Salad.
Sakara's Classic Chopped Salad.

20-something, New York Contributing Editor, Meghann Stephenson

“I’ve been fascinated with Sakara for a few years now. My fiancé even managed to get me a copy of their cookbook before it was officially released. So, when James DM’d me about trying it out for a few days I think I audibly yelled with excitement. Over the past year, I’ve drastically changed my diet in attempts to address some health issues. While I’ve been trying to practice more intuitive eating lately, I still avoid processed sugars and focus on a whole foods plant-based diet, exactly what Sakara stands for. Since I’m somewhat new to this way of eating, I was very interested in seeing their interpretation of what a “balanced” plant-based diet looked like.

My first impression of the food was how beautiful and thoughtful it was. Every dish was unique with a wide variety of ingredients, that, for the most part, served a very intentional nutritional purpose. I was a little nervous about how small the breakfast portions were compared to my typical massive smoothie and / or bowl of oatmeal. I even received a few DM’s expressing the same concerns from Sakara-curious followers. But, after the first day I was pleasantly surprised by how filling the meals were. I did end up supplementing a small oatmeal snack most days, but felt mostly satisfied by the meals. My absolute favorite was the Medicinal Mole Tacos with roasted eggplant and black bean pineapple salad, it was easily one of the best dishes I’ve ever had plant-based or not.

I have a few major takeaways from my Sakara experience. I fully appreciate their pillars of a balanced plant-based diet. And while I love the idea of not counting calories, it is necessary to some extent on a plant-based diet to ensure you’re getting enough calories. The lack of information on this left me second guessing my own hunger on occasion. I love their focus on leafy greens, and while they left me physically full, after lunch I was still left feeling a little emotionally hungry or lacking, which is rare for me. For this way of eating to be long term, sustainable and help you feel your best it’s so important to meet your caloric and nutritional needs and I’m concerned that isn’t emphasized here.

At times, I also felt the meals were a little hard on my very sensitive stomach. While they were incredibly delicious, they were also more complex than my typical way of eating and I noticed some significant bloating by the end of the day and even upon waking. While this might not be an issue for everyone, I find my digestion is best if I loosely follow food combining principles, at least not mixing fruit with starches or proteins, like most of the Sakara meals.

Finally, I never realized how amazing a salad could be! Moving forward I’ve already started adding in heaping cups of greens, chickpeas and roasted vegetables dressed in some dressings from their cookbook to my day. Their miso tahini “Daydreamer Dressing” is my absolute favorite. I would highly recommend considering the Sakara program even for a few days to experience how delicious plant-based eating can be. Their meals are so convenient and inventive that they can absolutely inspire anyone to try a more plant-based way of eating. But also listen to what your body is asking for, if you need a little more like I did, that’s ok!”

Sakara Beet Burger.
Sakara Beet Burger.

20-something, Senior Managing Editor, Tiana Lewis

“I realize that I’m the minority here, but I had never actually heard of Sakara before witnessing a few well-designed products make their way across James’ desk. I like to think that I stay relatively healthy and up-to-date on what’s what in the wellness world, but truth be told, nutrition is a concept that has often left me more confused despite hours behind the late-night glow of a computer screen, googling things like, ‘How many calories should I eat?’ and ‘How keto works.’ I wish I could say I have taken a more proactive approach in my health journey, but if I’m being completely honest with you (and with myself), my path to find ‘wellness’ has certainly been more reactive, letting fads and trends and the suggestions of others make their way into my life at the various moments I thought I needed them most (Spoiler alert: I definitely didn’t need them). So, before we dive into my review of a Sakara’s three-day meal-delivery service, I thought it best to give you a clear picture of my body type, how I typically eat, and my expectations going into the program.

My mother is Korean and my dad is black, so I’ve always loved food; all kinds of foods. And, despite being petite, I’ve always had curves, with personal trouble zones existing in the lower stomach and thigh regions. I like to feed my body what it needs — fruits, vegetables, protein — you know, the stuff you’re supposed to feed it. On a day-to-day basis, I attempt to make healthy swaps (think: almond milk in place of whole milk), but I also have zero self-control and will gladly partake in a drink (alcoholic, preferably) and dessert split (only if I can have the bigger half) if someone asks me nicely. My wellness practice is a series of peaks and valleys, and if I’m high — eating well, exercising — I’m on an extreme high. But, if I’m low, I binge with equal amounts of attack. It’s a problem. I wish I could muster more consistency in my routine, and it’s something I actively work toward every single day.

So, when James mentioned that we should try Sakara in our weekly editorial meeting, I honestly wasn’t excited, like at all. I think I may have even grimaced a little. I’ve been on a post-wedding eat-whatever-the-hell-I-want bender, and making my health a priority hasn’t exactly topped my list as of late. Do you want to know what my initial thought was? Truthfully? ‘I’m going to be so hungry.’ I saw the marketing — two beautiful blondes, laughing, eating a sea of colorful veggies. I wasn’t a fool. ‘That is L.A.,’ I told myself. ‘This [looking down at my trouble zone once again] is Nebraska.’ I even tried to encourage James to pick a different editor to partake, thinking I would have nothing of value to offer you by the end, dear readers. But, with a little encouragement, I made the arrangements. And, soon enough a big white box filled to the brim with ice packs and three days worth of plant-based meals had arrived at my doorstep.

The first thing I will say is that these women thought of everything. Not only do you get an array of meals dreamed up by world-renowned chefs (I’m sorry, but for someone who can barely cook eggs, I found this to be really cool, kind of like seeing how the other half lived) and plenty of information on what each meal consists of, you also get detox tea, chocolate probiotics, a temperature regulating tote, and even some palo santo — things to really make Sakara feel like the lifestyle they promote it to be. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Big whoop!’ But, the attention to detail really struck me, especially because the program is not cheap. I repeat — Sakara is expensive. But, it is also insanely convenient. With most food ready to eat right out of the packaging, and everything else just a five – 10 minute heat away.

Moving onto the food itself, my first meal was the Sea Buckthorn Salad created by Chef Mike Bagale. And, once again, my initial thought was, ‘Dear God, I was right. I’m going to be so hungry.’ When I saw the amount of salads featured in my meal plan, I was truly disappointed. How different can salads get, I thought to myself? And, to top it all off, this first one consisted of absolutely zero of the flavor profiles I typically like to eat when I do eat salads. But, alas, I took my first bite. And, I know this probably isn’t the ending you wanted, but I really enjoyed it. The sweet potatoes were hearty and satisfying. The dressing was SO good. And, best of all, I felt really good after eating it, like I had done something good for my body. Once I finished my meal, I fully expected a sweet tooth craving or wanting to binge on more food, but if I just sat a while, finished my episode of Euphoria, and let everything digest, I did find myself really full by the end of it — quite a nice surprise, if you ask me.

The rest of my experience with Sakara Life went something just like that. Meals I actually enjoyed that filled me up. And, the peace of mind of knowing that what I was putting into my body was good for me, gave me immense satisfaction and made the whole process easy. I was fully prepared to give Sakara a five-star rating until I approached Thursday’s lunch. Until then, I had enjoyed everything I had eaten — an avo-cacao pudding, a classic chopped salad, even pea soup! But, for whatever reason, I just didn’t jive with Thursday’s meals. The Longevity Churros were incredible, and I would highly recommend them. But, the Pasta Primavera just wasn’t my thing (too much arugula and slightly redundant flavors that made taking another bite feel somewhat like a chore), and while the Sunshine Curry Bowl sounded like a dish I would dig in theory, the flavors were a bit too intense for my liking. I think that’s the thing with any meal delivery service though, right? There’s always a chance you won’t like one or all of your meals. I would say that 7 times out of 10 (or more accurately, seven times out of nine) Sakara hit the nail on the head. But, I have to be honest and say that the majority of Thursday felt like a letdown.

Overall, this can’t-cook, sometimes healthy, twenty-something who has her own problems with food, for the most part, really dug Sakara. And, if I stopped ordering so much take out and budgeted wisely by spending less money on things that don’t matter, I could probably make Sakara work in my everyday life. Don’t get it twisted: I couldn’t eat Sakara everyday. But once every few months, when I had saved enough pennies and wanted to invest in my health in a super-convenient, yummy way, I would absolutely call on Sakara. And, I would recommend it to anyone who else who could do the same. Even if just to try one time. You know, to see how the other half lives.”

Sakara has a referral program. If you’d like to try it and receive $50 off, we’ll receive $50 off, too. You can use the discount through this link.

Written by: The Editors

Bleu's team of seasoned writers and editors at your service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want more Bleu?

© 2007-2019 Bleubird, LLC. All rights reserved. Bleu, Cult Bleu, and Shop The Bleu are trademarks of Bleubird, LLC.