Always in search of exceptional lifestyle trends in and around New York, Haley Binn—wife, mother of three and DuJour’s Director of Editorial Operations—takes you below the brim. She promises you won’t leave empty-handed. (Here, receive a 10% discount on your Sakara Life order. Details below.)
As we enjoy the last sips of summer and prepare for fall, we think about our children starting school and their new schedules (for me, all three of them), longer days at our desks, less time outside and more time on the go, running around…and well, being a New Yorker!
This year I decided I didn’t want the re-entry into fall to be so tough on my body. I always find the transition from fresh farm-picked veggies and fruits to NYC store-bought produce—even organic—a tough one when trying to keep my body balanced, vibrant and hydrated. Yet there is little time in the first few weeks of fall to visit the greenmarkets and prepare meals. Then I learned what Danielle DuBois and Whitney Tingle, co-founders of Sakara Life, are doing to solve this.
Their company, which came on the scene less than a year ago, works with a small group of clients, preparing and delivering organic, locally-sourced, nutrient-dense vegan meals. For someone who enjoys being in the kitchen and makes her own green juice everyday (and just about everything else from scratch), the idea of someone else cooking for me and delivering meals felt disconnected with my lifestyle. But then again, in our businesses and homes, we usually “outsource” what others can do better, right? Design, PR, payroll, our cleaning lady… As Whitney put it, why not “outsource your food, too, to someone who has your health in mind?”
Intrigued, I chatted more with Whitney and Danielle about her company and the food they prepare—New Yorkers, the re-entry just got a little less daunting.
Haley Binn: So, back-to-school, back-to-work, no more summer Fridays or vacations. There’s not much time to eat, either. Coffee gets us through the beginning of the day, and cocktails end it. Is this why New Yorkers are always so stressed?
Sakara Life: Your fuel is your food, so when our hormones are out of balance, our body is stressed. We incorporate Maca, Peruvian super food, into our meals, which helps balance hormones, provide energy—and increase your libido.
HB: I love the glow of summer. Everyone looks sun-kissed! You and your partner, Danielle, seem to keep it going year-round. What’s the secret?
SL: The food we prepare is so fresh—we focus on local farms, and we visit them, speak to the farmers and arrange for daily deliveries of produce. The food we prepare has an extremely high water content, so it hydrates your body. You see the hydration in your skin and in the way you feel.
HB: I need to ask—and anyone who sees the gorgeous photos of you will want to know—did you always look this healthy, is it genetics, or does your lifestyle play a role in your fresh-faced look?
SL: Lifestyle is so important. Danielle and I grew up together in Arizona. Danielle was interning at St. Luke’s, studying to be a cardiologist. She grew up in a household with a sick mother and always wanted to help people. After a while she realized she could through food and nutrition. But she went down the path of juice cleanses, Master Cleanse, vegan, raw food, 21-Day Cleanse at Tree of Life with Gabriel Cousens—it all felt like punishment.
I was simultaneously working on Wall Street, and within a month of moving to New York I gained 15 pounds. My acne flared up, and after rounds of Accutane I realized I wanted a change. I, too, felt I was punishing my body. That’s when we started cooking for ourselves, researching, meeting the farmers and connecting to our food, listening to our bodies. It changed everything, and we want Sakara Life to do the same for others.
HB: Okay, how realistic is it for a New Yorker to stick with this way of life?
SL: It’s true that there’s a steak restaurant or burger joint on every street corner, the best chefs in the world are here, and New Yorkers hardly find the time to sit down for a healthy meal. We can help with that. We offer five-day programs—on weekends, you’re on your own.
We provide breakfast and lunch options since so many eat dinner out, but we also send our clients tools and tips to make the right choices. When you are getting the most nutrients possible out of a meal and your body is functioning at its best, you begin to adopt the practices that make that happen naturally.
HB: So to be clear, this is not a diet. Sakara Life is a lifestyle.
SL: Correct! Our portions are enough, and the food is high in fiber and water so you shouldn’t feel hungry. You will learn to listen to your body. This is the way you should be eating all the time.
Visit the website at sakaralife.com for more info on the programs, and use the discount code DUJOUR10 to receive a 10% discount on your order.
Maca Coconut Curry Bowl
3 cups cooked black rice
1 cup green cabbage, washed and shredded
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 cup baby eggplant, diced
½ cups sugar snap peas, cut in half
½ large carrot, peeled and shredded
½ tbsp of a red onion thinly sliced
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp salt
½ can of organic coconut milk
1/3 cup green curry paste
1 tbsp Maca powder
1 tbsp cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup large flake coconut
3 cups of spinach
Heat coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add all vegetables and cook until cabbage and eggplant are tender. In a separate bowl whisk together coconut milk, curry paste, and maca powder. Pour into sauté pan and evenly coat vegetables with coconut mixture. Cook mixture for two more minutes, or until desired consistency is made, and remove from heat. Serve with black rice and spinach, and garnish with cilantro and coconut flakes.