Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
For the past four years, healthy food service Sakara has been delivering palette-pleasing organic vegan meals to New York residents—people like supermodel Iman, current and former Victoria's Secret models (Lily Aldridge and Karolina Kurkova), and Lena Dunham—so when the East Coast-based program finally arrived in LA, we wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Offering a variety of options for beginners to seasoned pros, the service simplifies healthy eating by delivering organic, plant-based meals directly to your door. Unsurprisingly, Goop is also a fan.
After you select your delivery program—we opted for the five-day plan consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner ($410)—and start date, a few days later an insulated cooler bag filled with two days of meals will arrive at your doorstep. Each gluten-free, superfood-packed dish is made with locally-sourced ingredients when possible, which is why you'll receive three separate deliveries to ensure maximum freshness. Got it? Let's get this started!
We're feeling pretty optimistic knowing that our food prep sitch is totally handled for the next five days, and we're especially excited about the enticing menu. In addition to three meals per day, the five-day program comes with morning rose waters and evening chlorella waters, plus detox teas to drink in between each meal. Besides unzipping each prepared plastic box and opening each single-serving bottle of mineral-rich H2O, the only actual "cooking" we need to do is boiling some water. We could live like this every day.
Sakara suggests that you think happy thoughts as you sip each bottle of water, so we start our first day envisioning how much smoother our system will be running by Friday. The morning beauty water is a concoction of alkaline water, minerals, and essential oils that offer anti-inflammatory and metabolism boosting properties. Mmm!
We dig the energizing superfood sweet potato bowl, which kind of looks like glorified baby food but is oh-so-delicious. It's topped with bee pollen, almonds, cacao, and blueberries, and does a pretty good job of fueling us through lunch with the detox tea in between.
We were a little sad when we first laid eyes on lunch, a measly-looking red beet burger that's supposed to help rid your body of toxins. It was actually surprisingly filling, and the avocado added a sort of creaminess that mimicked the consistency of cheese. We miss cheese already.
We refilled on the detox tea and sipped on it as we scarfed down dinner, a protein-rich salad with plantains, tomatoes, blueberries, and puffed quinoa—yes, it's a lot going on as the salad's description admits, but it all works. We really dig the Night Water, too; it's made with oxygen-promoting chlorella, a "single-celled micro-algae" that gives the drink an earthy aftertaste and also makes us feel magically replenished at the end of the evening. Day one, done!
We're still feeling pretty good by the second day, and not hangry at all (yet)—probably because we've been eating solid foods. We're pretty stoked about today's breakfast, a strawberry shortcake which we doused with the accompanying rose coconut cream and strawberry jam. It was like kicking off the day with dessert, only totally guilt-free:
Lunch is the Daydreamer Soba Bowl, a Japanese-inspired noodle dish with mushrooms, beets, and a yummy dressing. Throughout the program, we end up stashing away the dressing leftovers for Sakara-inspired meals once our five days are over.
Sakara also suggests that you step away from your email and enjoy a meal outside, which we do with the Cannelli and Cucumber Salad with Creamy Mint Drizzle. Although it's refreshing, we're definitely craving a hot meal right about now.
Our next round of meals arrive this morning (we made sure to leave our insulated bag and freezer packs outside for pick-up the night before), and we're definitely noticing our pipeline is running a bit, uh, smoother—probably due to the superherb detox tea, which we've been drinking more than the recommended twice a day. Our favorite meal of the day comes in the form of a Stone Fruit Scone with Sweet Cherry Butter. So good! But we want like, three more of them.
According to the description on our lunch box, reishi mushrooms—a key ingredient in our Pistachio Falafel and Herb Tabbouleh Salad—are rumored to be the key to immortality, but we'll be lucky if we can survive the rest of the day without craving some hot, greasy comfort food. Still, we enjoy the crunch and texture of this Mediterranean-inspired salad, but we also could use some shawarma.
Our last meal of the day is like dinner and dessert in one, and it just happens to be called the "Sexiest Salad in NYC." Speaking of which, our tummies are noticeably less bloated.
So close, yet so far! We wake up looking forward to breakfast, but not much else. Our favorite morning meal of the program so far is the Coconut Mint Matcha Morning, a really tasty pudding-like dish topped with strawberries that we try to savor for as long as possible.
We're daydreaming of In-N-Out as we spoon Golden Berry Couscous lunch into our mouths:
We're not completely feeling the Sweat Pea and Coconut Soup, which is a bit too coconut-y for our tastes (and we happen to be coconut superfans). Although most of the program's meals are meant to be enjoyed cold, this soup can be heated. We dip the accompanying Carrot Tea Sandwich into the warmed soup and are counting down the hours until the penultimate day of the "cleanse" is nearly over.
We're almost there! Our final day of meals arrive this morning, and we could use an entire cake's worth of Friday's breakfast, the aptly-titled Aphrodite's Morning—a sweet toast-like square topped with figs and oats. We appreciate the literary instructions on the box, which features D.H. Lawrence's poem, Figs. Cute.
We're in somewhat of a daze as we shovel every single garbanzo bean into our mouths from the Dill Crunch Salad, but overall we feel pretty clean on the inside and our appetites are fairly satisfied. One thing that we really like about Sakara is that the program isn't about counting calories; rather, it focuses on filling your body with "macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants" to boost metabolism and kick-start your body's natural cleansing mechanisms. We'll take that over crunching the numbers of our food any day.
The final stretch! For dinner, we've got the Five-Herb Quinoa Penne with Pesto with a Green Salad. The penne has a crunchy consistency, kind of like when you take out your pasta just before it's al dente, but it's actually quite good.
For those who aren't quite ready to committing to a full week of Sakara, try the one-day trial ($99). If the five-day option isn't rigorous enough, there's also the 20-day option ($990) and for those who are truly dedicated to living the #SakaraLife for one-fourth of a year, there's the three-month program (currently on sale for $2,750).
As far as weight loss, we did notice a slight drop in poundage, probably because we had a pretty salt-free week and thus lost some water weight. We didn't see any immediate effects on our skin, but we generally felt more energized and couldn't care less about that greasy soul food we'd been craving a few days ago. While we're not hardcore enough to try the 20-day option (yet!), we could definitely do the five-day program once a month.