Welcome to I Tried It Month, where we’ll be publishing a new fashion, beauty, or wellness article every day that features a first-person account of shaking up an old habit, pushing beyond a comfort zone, or simply trying something new. Follow along for 31 days of storytelling, including everything from trying new beauty treatments to copying the most risqué runway looks of the season.
Let me say this: I could write multiple essays expressing my love and adoration for Sakara Life. I'm a huge fan of the brand's beautifully concocted snacks and supplements, and whenever my body (and mind) is feeling a bit meh, I turn to its ultra-famous plant-based, organic meal delivery system for a reset.
If you're unfamiliar with Sakara, the brand's organic meal options (they offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are based on a whole-food, plant-rich approach to eating that A) removes the guesswork out of trying to figure out what to eat and B) includes organic, fresh, nutrient-dense, and superpower-laden ingredients. With nourishment, healing, and rainbow-inspired variety in mind, the meal system epitomizes nine, ultra-refreshing nutritional pillars exemplified in every single dish that arrives on your doorstep: No Calorie Counting, Plant Protein, Eat Your Water, Greens, Good Fats, Eat the Rainbow, Nutrient Density, Sulfur-Rich Veggies, and Body Intelligence.
In a nutshell, Sakara treats food as medicine, and as someone who has personally experienced the transformative effects, I fully attest to co-founders' Danielle DuBoise and Whitney Tingle's entire approach. Suffice it to say, if I could eat Sakara every day for the rest of my life, I 110% would.
Photo:Courtesy of Sakara
When I found out Sakara's highly anticipated 30-Day Fall Reset was just around the corner—and had the opportunity to try it out myself pre-launch—I couldn't have been more ecstatic. While I've done a week here and there of Sakara, I'd never done a full month straight, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Physically and mentally, I was feeling stressed, fatigued, burnt out, and just overall not like myself. Knowing how much better I feel after just one week of Sakara, I was curious to see how I'd feel after the entire reset. (Spoiler alert—the impact was wild.)
Photo:Courtesy of Sakara
So what exactly does The 30-Day Reset entail? First, choose your preferred start date (September 12, September 19, September 26, or October 3) and expect four weeks of organic, plant-rich meals delivered straight to your door, along with the included teas and supplements. (The meals arrive ready to eat—no meal prep or cooking required—so handy!)
Included in the special Reset package are the brand new Energy Effervescents, The 30-Day Reset guidebook, access to Sakara's digital community where you can easily connect with other Sakaralites, the brand's complete Probiotic Formula, Detox Tea, a One-Month Mindfulness App Membership, and as a cherry on top, Campo's Beauty Energy Essential Oil Roll-On. Dreamy, right? Keep scrolling for a very personal deep dive into every notable change I experienced while trying Sakara's Fall Reset. In fact, I was so obsessed with the results and how much better I felt, that I've continued it on my own!
#1: Improved Digestion and *Way* Less Bloat
Prepare for TMI. Even though I consider myself a pretty balanced and "healthy" eater—mainly sticking to lots of veggies, lean animal proteins, and healthy fats, I'd been dealing with on-and-off digestion issues (i.e., constipation, bloating, etc.) for years, No matter how many quick fixes, probiotics, or other "miracle" supplements I tried, nothing seemed to change. But when I started to eat Sakara full time, there was an almost immediate switch—I was *going* (sorry) every single morning like clockwork, no crazy supplements needed and had a flat, bloat-free stomach all-day every day. Honestly, it was hard to fathom, especially when I was eating fruits, healthy carbohydrates like beans, cruciferous vegetables, and other foods notoriously associated with digestive disruption.
"We hear this ALL THE TIME!" exclaimed DuBoise and Tingle when I shared that this was the most immediate (and noticeable) benefit I experienced while trying out the 30-Day Reset. "We nutritionally design every single meal for true transformation—results you can see and feel. The science behind how we design the program is extensive: we calculate everything from how many greens you get in a day, to the carb-to-fiber ratio in to make sure your blood sugar doesn’t spike."
But it doesn't stop there. Sakara also sources fresh and cold-pressed fats (which fight inflammation head-on) and incorporates over 170 different ingredients into its meals each week. (Pretty darn spectacular and a number I was far, far away from pre-reset.)
"A recent study from The American Gut Microbiome research found that those who ate 30+ different types of plants per week had a far more diverse gut microbiome compared to those who ate less than 10 plant foods per week. And more diversity means a healthier gut and a healthier you!" DuBoise and Tingle conclude.
#2: Weight Loss
Photo:Courtesy of Sakara
Full disclosure, I debated whether to bring this one up, as losing weight wasn't one of my top prerogatives before starting the reset. As someone who has struggled on and off with an eating disorder since I was in my teens, I also know how triggering the topic can be. That said, and even though I don't own a scale, weight loss was definitely something I experienced during the reset, and I want to be 100% honest about all of the changes I noticed.
For the first time in over a year, my clothes seemed to fit better, and I was able to easily slide into numerous pieces that had been noticeably tighter or altogether unwearable for the past year or so. I was surprised, considering I was pretty sure the Sakara reset totaled to more calories per day than I was used to, and I was also eating more carbs (which our culture loves to label as "bad") on a daily basis than I had in a very long time. I hadn't switched up my workout routine or made any other lifestyle changes, so it pretty much had to come down to my new eating habits.
"We’ve been taught that weight loss comes from restricting and counting calories, but nothing could be farther from the truth," note DuBoise and Tingle. "Our philosophy has always been abundance over deprivation. Healthy and sustainable weight loss comes from giving your body the nutrients it needs to do its job… to BURN! We call that 'burn' our metabolism and our metabolism is an intricate, adaptive, and vital set of cellular processes that turn what you eat into fuel. Bad input equals bad fuel, which can put stress on your body and lead to everything from imbalanced hormones, weight gain, fatigue, etc. One of our favorite parts of our job is to help people realize their best body is created by nourishing it every single day!"
#3: Better Menstrual Cycle
I went years without a period—or simply having a very irregular period—due to my eating disorder. In fact, it wasn't until a few years ago that my body and whacked-out hormone levels were finally able to heal enough so that I was menstruating regularly. Then, out of nowhere this spring, I started getting my period every two weeks (very fun, as you can imagine). After going in to see my gynecologist and getting some extensive testing done, I found out that my hormone levels, once again, were off.
Obviously, when a vital sign of health like our cycle gets thrown off, it's extremely stressful, and going into my reset I was a little worried that eating no meat and a completely plant-based diet might make the issue even worse. I couldn't have been more wrong! While doing the reset (I also continued to order Sakara off and on in the weeks after my trial had ended, too) my menstrual cycle seemed to naturally recalibrate and return to its normal 25-ish–day cadence. Again, nothing else in my life had really changed, and it felt pretty darn miraculous.
"Dysregulated progesterone or estrogen levels and/or estrogen dominance can often lead to irregular periods," DuBoise and Tingle explained to me. "When gut health is suboptimal, our hormones, specifically estrogen, can become imbalanced and we can suffer from related symptoms like irregular periods or PMS. Our 30-Day Reset is designed to nurture and enhance the gut environment, which thereby stabilizes hormones."
Additionally, and as I noted in my first point, Sakara's 30-Day Reset is nutritionally designed to ensure regularity, which DuBoise and Tingle say help minimize the risk of estrogen reabsorption from stool back into the bloodstream. "A healthy gut microbiome, which has been found to regulate estrogen levels; and is abundant in healthy fatty acids, is essential for hormone production and regulation."
#4: Longer, Deeper Sleep
Photo:Courtesy of Sakara
Until I began the reset, I had pretty much forgotten what a good night's sleep felt like. For years, I couldn't sleep past 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. at the latest, I wasn't able to fall asleep without a very hearty concoction of supplements and stress-relieving elixirs before bed, and I'd almost always wake up at least a few times a night—usually insanely hungry and tempted to snack despite having a normal dinner before bed. But almost instantly after beginning my Sakara experience, all of the above seemed to dissipate. I was able to sleep until 7:00 a.m. or even later (if my schedule allowed), I felt naturally tired by the end of the day and wasn't forced to rely on things like melatonin and OTC sleeping pills, and I never woke up during the night unless it was to go to the bathroom. (And if that happened, I was able to fall back asleep quickly.) Again, I was stunned. All of a sudden I felt and looked more rested and had a lot more natural energy—plus less brain fog—during the day. (I'll dive into this more in a second.) Not surprisingly, DuBoise and Tingle had some interesting insights.
"Studies have found that plant-rich diets—which are abundant in complex carbs and fiber, phytonutrients, and plant proteins—can improve sleep quality by stabilizing blood sugar." (Oftentimes, they told me, blood sugar irregularities can lead to night wakes!)
"A plant-rich diet may also lead to increased levels of tryptophan, which increases sleep-supporting melatonin and serotonin, and complex carbs have been found to stimulate the release of calming, sleep-supporting serotonin," they continued. "Additionally, Sakara meals are made without harmful additives, toxins, and refined sugars, which induces stress on the body, leading to irregular sleep patterns. Reduced physical stress from these foods, plus flooding the body with high-quality nutrients, can reduce cortisol dysregulation and play a major role in enhancing sleep quality."
#5: No Body Odor
Okay, this was a weird one! I've never been a super-smelly person, and even though I work out regularly (and sweat quite a bit during), I'd categorize my personal BO as pretty unaggressive and normal. However, I've never been able to wear natural deodorants without ruining my clothes (it's almost as if they made me smell worse), and never in a million years would I have felt like I could go completely without deodorant Matthew McConaughey style. But then, a completely unhinged thing happened once I was a couple of weeks into my Sakara reset—I went to my normal 80-minute long Saturday morning Lekfit class (which occurs in a warm, steamy room in which I produce buckets of sweat) and wait for it—I didn't smell. Yes, I was sweating profusely, but there was not one iota of scent coming from any pore in my body. Since then, I've (finally) been able to wear natural deodorants, and if I forget to apply it's no biggie.
Interestingly, there has been a long-time debate dating back to the 1940s that chlorophyll can naturally nix body odor (in addition to my three-daily Sakara meals I was also adding the brand's bright green chlorophyll Detox Water Drops, $39, to my water each day), but according to DuBoise and Tingle, there's even more to it than that! And, like many of the changes I noticed, it seems to tie back to gut health.
"Body odor can be a symptom of poor gut health," they told me. "With our 30-Day Reset, you’re optimizing your gut microbiome and gut environment, which in turn can improve body odor. If you think about where your armpits are on your body, you can guess what’s surrounding them: lymph! It’s the lymph system’s job to “take out the trash,” so a high-quality diet means there’s less trash to take out, and consequently, less odor."
DuBoise and Tingle also shared that when we're stressed, the body secretes an odorless white fluid consisting of water, proteins, and fats, which, once combined with the natural bacteria on our skin, can produce that foul-smelling waste known as BO. Sakara’s 30-Day Reset, they told me, nourishes the gut, removes toxins for the lymph to clear, and takes away the stress of not knowing what to eat—all of which could explain the disappearance of any previous smell I had. Fascinating, right?
#6: Fewer Cravings & "Bottomless Pit" Hunger
While intense cravings and "bottomless pit" hunger are often associated with the luteal and menstrual phases of our cycles, I experienced both almost every day all day—regardless of where I was in my cycle—before starting the reset. I'd have sharp, rollercoaster-level cravings for sugar and sweets which would then quickly veer to rabid cravings for anything salty and savory. And, then, inexplicably, I'd experience a handful of days where I had barely any appetite whatsoever. No matter how I adjusted or tweaked my diet, nothing seemed to help, and my body felt completely lost and out of sorts.
To be honest, I felt out of control around food—something highly triggering as someone with a history of disordered eating—and at a loss of how to properly nourish my body. But yet again, Sakara came to the rescue. Each day, I'd eat my Sakara breakfast, lunch, and dinner, sip the brand's red rooibos, lemongrass, and rose-infused Detox Tea, snack on one of its fantastic Super Bars, and drink lots of water laden with its Beauty and Detox Water Drops. The result? My hunger spikes and cravings completely dissipated. For the first time in years, I felt stable, in control, and so much less stressed out about food and how my body was or wasn't reacting to it.
"We’ve been taught that cravings are bad, but they’re not," DuBoise and Tingle pointed out to me. "They’re signals that we need something. … Often, it’s a combination of needing certain nutrients—for example, low magnesium levels may make you crave chocolate—and taking something out of your diet like an ultra-processed food. Ultra-processed foods can interfere with the signaling within your body. For instance, if your blood sugar is out of control from processed, refined foods, you will have a difficult time getting cravings under control due to this biological response."
In order to reduce cravings, they told me, it's important to nourish our bodies with the macronutrients and micronutrients we need to function at optimal capacity. Thus, The 30-Day Reset is nutritionally designed to flood the body with said nutrients, ultimately shifting our biological response away from these intense types of cravings.
#7: More Energy With Less Brain Fog
Photo:Courtesy of Sakara
As I explained earlier, lack of high-quality sleep had been a longtime problem for me, but day-to-day, my complete exhaustion, heavy reliance on coffee and energy drinks like Celsius, and intense brain fog seemed like it had to go even deeper than that. For instance, on the rare days I did get more than five hours of sleep, I'd feel just as tired, cranky, and fuzzy. But, you guessed it, after getting into the Sakara reset, things started to improve dramatically. Obviously, I was sleeping better which I'm sure played a key part in the difference, but I felt like I had natural energy in the morning (even without caffeine), and exercising, socializing, writing, and just doing life felt so much easier and less strenuous on my energy stores. It was as if, metaphorically speaking, someone had lifted about a hundred pounds off of my shoulders, and I was able to easily and efficiently go about everything in my life. It was a dramatic, night-and-day difference.
"A plant-rich diet is a great solution for clearing brain fog and improving energy," confirmed DuBoise and Tingle. "Sakara is nutritionally designed and rich in neuroprotective omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for neurotransmitter communication, B vitamins for better intercommunication within the brain, and neuroprotective nutrients like phytochemicals (polyphenols) to support mental clarity and energy levels."
All in all, if your budget allows, I can't recommend trying the 30-Day Fall Reset enough. Take my word for it—you'll be obsessed.
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