Earlier this year, we talked with Sakara co-founders (and longtime best friends) Danielle DuBois and Whitney Tingle about how their personal struggles with food and body image issues eventually led them to start the organic, plant-based meal-delivery service that’s got supermodels and health advocates alike abuzz. Six years later, the pair is pushing some of the prettiest and healthiest food you can get your hands on, and while they’re advocates for eating super plant-y most of the time, they hold a pretty firm pro-chocolate-cake stance, too; be sure to check out their interview in its entirety, and then below, their tips on quick and easy changes you can make to your eating habits right away that will set you on the path to feeling way, way better:
1. Eat 4 to 8 cups of fresh, leafy greens every. single. day.
This is the #1 Sakara secret to better health and a sexy glow! Greens encourage the growth, diversity and stability of healthy bacteria in the gut, which is the key to overall wellness. They’re also incredibly high in water content, which helps to ultra hydrate your cells and for longer periods of time. One of our mentors and microbiome specialists, Dr. Robyne Chutkyn, says it best: “Greens are the least-consumed food in the standard American diet, and the most essential for inner and outer health. They come the closest of any food to meeting our ideal nutritional requirements. It probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that romaine lettuce has more fiber than sirloin, but you may not know that calorie for calorie, it has double the protein, ten times the amount of iron, and a hundred times more calcium. If you asked me to recommend the one thing that would have the biggest impact on the health of your gut and skin, it would be to eat as many leafy green vegetables as you can. If you do nothing else, commit to eating leafy greens every day for the next ten days and I promise you, amazing things will start to happen inside and out.”
2. Take a daily probiotic and take your gut health seriously.
Research shows that your microbiome—the trillions of healthy bacteria in and your body, weighing up to 6 pounds!—controls everything from your immunity to your skin to your weight to your digestion to your moods. A probiotic (like our Daily Probiotic Blend!) is a great way to add healthy bacterial strains to your gut microbiome. Pair it with a plant-rich diet that encourages the right bacteria to grow, and you will find you have more energy, a clearer complexion, less inflammation and fewer autoimmune symptoms.
3. Eat as many colors as possible.
Fruits, veggies and other plant foods get their colors from the phytochemicals and antioxidants they contain. By eating a diverse diet rich in colorful plant foods, you can be sure you’re getting the full range of nutrients your body needs.
4. Eat your water.
Hydration doesn’t just mean drinking water; it means eating water-rich foods like romaine lettuce, melon, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini. The water in these plant foods is bound up in their fibrous structure, providing deep, sustained hydration for your cells and plumping them up for smooth, bright, ageless skin. Focusing on water-rich foods completely changed our skin!
5. Know that your thoughts become things.
The first step in the manifestation process is giving your dreams form by thinking them, writing them down, and speaking them, so be conscious of what you are thinking as you start your day, sit down for your breakfast, and look in the mirror! All of the purest plants in the world will not create a body you love if you are stuck in a cycle of negativity, hate, and criticism. What do you want to create? A loving relationship? A successful career? A sexy body? Start to turn those dreams into things by saying to yourself that they already are: I am in a loving, passionate, secure and mutually supportive relationship that enriches my life every day. I have a career that is fulfilling, stimulating and rewarding, and I am proud of my achievements and successes at work. My body is beautiful, strong and sexy! I love and appreciate my body for all the ways it supports me every day.
This article was originally published on January 30, 2017 and has since been updated.