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What happens when a meat lover tries a vegan meal delivery service

Ally Hirschlag is a producer/actor/writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY and buys way too many toys for her cats. She contributes to several publications, including Bustle, and The Nerve, and enjoys writing about all things woman. In her spar...

The meal delivery service you should know about if you like eating clean but don't know how to cook

There are lots of meal delivery services on the market these days, but few that claim to treat your body as well as Sakara Life. 

Sakara Life freshly prepares meals for its clientele that are nutritious, vegan, and apparently delicious, so much so that celebs like Lily Aldridge, Chrissy Teigen, and Lena Dunham swear by it. Unlike Blue Apron, and Plated, Sakara Life meals come to you ready to eat — you don't even have to heat them up.

Some of these attributes worried me when I signed on to try it for a day. Not only am I a full-blown carnivore, I prefer to have my meals warm, unless of course I'm eating cereal or salad. I also love food of all kinds, so the idea of subsisting on a totally vegan, cold, clean diet was not the most appetizing to me at first.

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However, the mantra of co-founders Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise encouraged me somewhat. They say on their website, "We believe in NOT restricting, starving, or guilting. We believe in counting our blessings. Not points, carbs, or calories. We believe food makes you feel sexy. We believe in mimosas at Sunday brunch and the joy of dark chocolate." I believe in all these things too, so I decided to fully commit to the meal plan (what's one day, right?).

My meals were scheduled to arrive three days after I returned from a week-long vacation in Mexico. Needless to say, I had gained some weight from seven days of excessive eating, drinking, and spending hours napping in a hammock. The idea of diving into clean eating suddenly sounded pretty good.

The food came in a lovely, temperature-controlled bag, and was perfectly sectioned out into little bottles and containers. There was cinnamon granola and an almond butter milk smoothie for breakfast, "prosperity pad thai with kale noodles" for lunch, and borscht with a multigrain roll and dill almond milk sauce for dinner. There were also a couple drinks to go with certain meals — a rose/silica infused water for breakfast, a detox tea for the afternoon, and a chlorophyll-infused water for after dinner. Yum.

Right off the bat, I was excited for breakfast because I have a granola obsession. I decided to take a nibble of the dry granola the night before, and was disappointed to find it was severely lacking in the sweet department. The next morning, I trepidatiously poured half of it in a bowl with milk and took a bite. Not surprisingly, it was still rather bland, and very chewy. Then I took a swig of the almond butter milk drink. Delicious! In fact, I would've been fine to forgo the rest of the granola and just stick with the shake. And that's when I had an epiphany. I was supposed to mix the almond milk drink into the granola. Little disclaimer: I've never been great about reading directions.

I immediately grabbed the remaining granola and poured the rest of the almond-y nectar into it. Voila — a delicious, perfectly sweet and creamy breakfast treat. Point to you, Sakara Life. However, drinking the rose water was akin to accidentally swallowing some of my mom's perfume. I'm sure my breath smelled fabulous, but I think I prefer my water odorless.

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Next came the "prosperity pad thai", which was essentially spinach salad with radishes, carrots, and slightly crunchy noodles. It appears Sakara makes lunch the biggest meal, because it comes in the middle of the day, so you have significant time to burn it off. The Europeans have a similar notion, so I went with it. The salad had a delicious peanut-y, sesame dressing, and once I got over the texture, the kale noodles were actually quite good. I do love a colorful salad too, so this one had me at its gorgeous, watermelon beets. Sakara, you're 2 for 2.

Then dinner rolled around. I was absolutely famished from a day of eating super clean superfoods, so I wanted some serious dinner. I opened my fridge, and sighed petulantly when I saw the tiny borscht container and sad, little roll. This is all I get for dinner?

I angrily opened the container of borscht (which I'd never eaten before), and sank the shrunken-looking bread into it. Now remember, I don't like cold food, especially when it's soup which my brain fervently believes is supposed to be warm (sorry, gazpacho). I desperately looked around for the dill cream sauce and started mixing it in. I definitely liked the soup better with the dill almond cream enhancement, but it was still cold, mealy-textured soup. I decided to just wolf it down since it was my only option for dinner, and save the rest of my itty bitty roll for a snack later if I was still hungry (which I knew I most certainly would be).

Right before bed and starving again, I went to the fridge to drink my sleep-promoting chlorophyl water. While the color was distressing (dark green), this actually tasted just like regular water to me, and did manage to relax me somewhat. I drifted off to sleep not long after hoping my day of diminished calories and fresh food would at least help me lose a pound or two of my Mexico weight.

So with all that in mind, here are my thoughts on Sakara as a meal plan service.

  1. The food is legitimately fresh and nutritious — I enjoyed eating and felt mostly satiated by two out of three of the meals.
  2. Based on what you get, you will most likely lose weight, even if you only do the three day a week plan. The food is simply better for you, and the portions are reasonable, but on the small side. I definitely felt lighter after only one day of it.
  3. For anyone who's not comfortable with the vegan diet, this plan would be very hard to stick to. I found myself craving more protein after only 24 hours on it. Perhaps that's just because I eat meat regularly, and my body was not used to that lack of protein. You would probably acclimate over time, but since I had just the day to experience it, I don't know how long that would take.
  4. Would I try it again? Yes, I think I would (especially with my wedding rapidly approaching). However, I would probably stick with the three-meals-a-week plan rather than the five, because it is pricey. I'd balance it with my own meals. Hey, a girl's gotta get some pepperoni pizza in there every now and again.

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