Sakara Life Review: Healthy, Vegan Meals Delivered and Ready for Instagram
"It's a lifestyle," according to the founders, but are Sakara Life's plant-based meals any good? And are they worth the big price?
Updated May 8, 2021 4:00 a.m. PT
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David WatskySenior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's logged more than a decade writing about all things edible, including meal kits and meal delivery subscriptions, cooking, kitchen gear and commerce. Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the eats business from slicing and dicing as a sous-chef in Rhode Island to leading complex marketing campaigns for major food brands in Manhattan. These days, he's likely somewhere trying the latest this or tasting the latest that - and reporting back, of course. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
ExpertiseKitchen tech, cookware, small appliances, food innovation, meal delivery and meal kits.
If you've ever longed for your own food to look as interesting and colorful as the bright bowls, salads and snacks that permeate Instagram squares as they scroll by, Sakara Life may be able to help. The posh lifestyle brand and vegan food delivery service has sought to capture those looking to eat healthy food that looks good enough to eat -- and post.
With (apparently) organic, unpaid endorsements from the likes of Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow and a slew of Victoria's Secret models, Sakara Life has been dubbed the new "model" or "celebrity" diet by some. The good news is that it's far healthier than the old model diet -- cigarettes and Diet Coke -- but does Sakara Life food actually taste good? And is it worth the decidedly high cost?
I tested a week's worth of meals from the trendy, plant-based meal delivery program to channel my inner influencer and write an honest review of Sakara Life.
What is Sakara Life?
Sakara Life is a vegan and organic meal delivery system designed to keep you eating healthy all week. Sakara sends fresh and never frozen harvest bowls, soups, salads, breakfast items and snacks to your door via messenger service so you don't have to think about cooking or preparing meals.
Unlike most of the meal delivery services we've reviewed such as Trifecta and Fresh n' Lean, Sakara Life doesn't freeze or vacuum-seal the food and it's meant to be eaten as soon as possible and not stored in the freezer for later. This includes salads and bowls that usually contain fresh greens and raw vegetables that wouldn't freeze well at all. (Something to keep in mind if you have an unpredictable schedule.)
The brand also offers cleanses and some other supplement and dietary products, but the main focus is healthy meal delivery. Between the branding, imagery and language, it's clear Sakara Life is marketed towards women. It's a highly aspirational brand with an energy similar to Paltrow's website Goop or women's magazines such as Elle or Women's Health.
For the Signature plan, you'll select how many Sakara meals you want per day (one, two or three) and how many days per week (two, three or five) you'd like to receive them. You can buy one, two or four weeks of Sakara Life meals if you're looking for a shorter, plant-based diet cleanse or subscribe and the meals will keep coming.
With Sakara Life you don't select individual meals, but you can view next week's menu, which changes slightly depending on where you live. Meals are delivered on Thursday if you choose two days of meals; Sunday if you choose three days; and Sunday and then again on Wednesday if you choose meals for five days so the food is always fresh.
What are Sakara Life meals like?
Sakara Life meals are best described as high-end spa food you eat at home. If you follow Instagram influencers who frequent destinations like Tulum and Palm Springs, this is what they seem to eat -- or at least what they post that they're eating.
Super colorful salads, soups and vegan bowls full of nuts and grains with organic rainbow carrots, berries, brightly colored sauces, dressings and even the occasional edible flower.
Sakara Life's weekly menus are inspired by world cuisines with Indian curries, Middle Eastern spreads, Japanese noodle bowls, all with a lot of fresh vegetables -- like, a ton of vegetables. Breakfast foods seem to draw from the yoga retreat or resort world with fancy nut bread and whole-grain toast served with honey-ricotta spreads and tropical jams. (I noticed that breakfast and snacks were generally a little sweet, just something to keep in mind.)
Sakara uses lots of organic, whole foods in its meals and everything is made from scratch down to the jams, jellies, sauces and spreads. I found my week of meals to be a nice balance between light salads and heartier bowls or curries so I could choose to eat whichever matched my hunger at any particular mealtime. Portions were generous.
One thing I noticed is all the ingredients are provided for each meal, but Sakara doesn't bombard you with calorie and nutritional information. I think the idea is to focus on eating good, healthy wholesome food and not to sweat numbers.
What I ate and how I liked it
I had a full five days of Sakara Life meals and enjoyed most of what I had. Nothing was bad and most meals were good or better but there was the occasional boring salad or grain bowl (perhaps something that's to be expected over the course of a week). The flavorful sauces and dressings were a huge highlight for me. Everything arrived fresh and intact, which I was concerned about initially. I'm not big on sweet food or yogurt for breakfast, so that was a bit of an adjustment, but I made it work.
The following is a sample of highlights and lowlights from my week of Sakara Life meals.
Plant protein granola with maple mylk: The sweet granola was excellent and went well with the maple mylk, which is something I'd never tried.
Butterfly bowl with tie-dye carrots: This bowl was anchored by chopped kale and topped with purple rice, carrots and walnuts finished with a bright pink beet spread. I really enjoyed this one, especially the zesty, creamy spread.
Wild tropics toast with guava jam: This was good, the toast was definitely healthy and dense (maybe too healthy?) but I really liked the guava jam. Nothing to go wild over, but it worked as a light breakfast.
Roasted peach chana masala: I absolutely love chana masala and so was especially excited for this one. The masala curry had just enough heat and the roasted peach provided a sweet foil. I ate this one hot and it was a big winner.
Ginger almond noodles over greens with sweet potatoes: This was also tasty and that's largely due to the sauce: a heavenly combination of ginger, cumin, garlic and tomato paste. I could have eaten it by the spoonful (I may have).
Vegetable moussaka: I absolutely adore moussaka, the Greeks' take on lasagna, and this meal made for a filling and delicious dinner.
Ciao Bella soup: A simple soup similar to minestrone without the noodles and was tasty if not a little boring. It felt like a detox soup and probably could have used another pop of flavor.
Harvest grain bowl with broccoli, sweet potato and roasted red pepper sauce: This one was good and filling but nothing special. I would have liked something else to jazz it up. I don't know what, exactly, but that's not my job.
How much does Sakara Life meal delivery cost?
Here's the catch. While plans differ, all of them are pretty darn pricey. If you choose five days of meals it breaks down to $70 a day and when you choose just two or three days per week it's $80. A more affordable option is picking just lunch and dinner, which nets out to $54 per day -- still not cheap by any stretch. All of this includes shipping but it's still a hefty sum to put up weekly.
The five-day Level II Detox cleanse is a whopping $400, but includes meals, supplements, detox teas, detox water drops, snacks and more. The 20-day bridal cleanse is *gulp* $1,395.
Who is Sakara Life good for?
If you've got a few extra bucks lying around and want to try an organic "food cleanse" that doesn't skimp on the food part, this would be a good week of meals to treat yourself to. Since the food is all freshly prepared and sent ready-to-eat, it's good for anyone looking to take cooking and meal prep off their plate but still keep things super healthy. Also, if you love sauces, Sakara has some of the best.
Who is Sakara Life not good for?
The carnivorous should steer clear of this meal program unless trying to make a serious dietary pivot. With lots of sweet potatoes, jams and jellies this is also not a good option for those keeping to a keto or a low-carb diet. Finally, Sakara Life is definitely not the right meal delivery service for someone on a budget.
The final verdict on Sakara Life
I struggled with Sakara Life because the food was really tasty with bold flavors -- especially the delicious sauces -- but I don't know that it's quite worth the money. If you can afford the cost and are searching for unique, interesting and healthy food but don't want to prepare it yourself, Sakara Life won't disappoint. Because the brand delivers on both Sundays and Wednesdays the meals don't lose their life sitting in the fridge either.
For me, really healthy food is not as fun to cook so if I were looking to reboot my system or do a quick cleanse I might look to Sakara Life, but it would be hard to justify those costs on a consistent basis. That said, if you're tired of cooking (and who isn't at this point?) and want to let your inner food influencer run free for a bit with tasty, healthy meals that are pretty as a picture, give Sakara Life a whirl.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.