FIVE X FIVE: Danielle Duboise
The Tot FIVE x FIVE invites inspiring mamas to answer five questions on motherhood and curate five products they can’t live without. Here we talk to Danielle Duboise, Sakara Founder and soon-to-be mother of two.
When soon to be mama of two, Danielle Duboise, and her best friend, Whitney Tingle, launched the wellness company Sakara Life in 2011, we don’t think they could have anticipated just how wild of a ride it would be. What started with them looking for answers to their own health issues led to them cooking and delivering game-changing meals via bicycles. Fast forward ten years and Sakara has grown into a mammoth multi-million dollar nationwide operation that is changing the way people view health and beauty by providing organic, plant-rich meals, functional products and supplements. Today, Danielle is Mama to a little girl named Star, expecting baby #2 and here to chat all things Sakara, gut health, motherhood and how we can speak to kids about using food as medicine.
Danielle on Motherhood
Were you raised knowing just how powerful food can be for overall health & wellness or was there a pivotal experience that led you to explore nutrition and gut health on a deeper level?
“Both. I spent a lifetime yo-yo dieting – starting from just 9 years old when I attempted to sneakily buy weight loss pills at Costco with my mom. This dysfunctional relationship with my body and my plate followed me to my early 20’s where I hit my rock bottom after attending a 21 day water fast in the Arizona desert and ended up very sick. From there, I began studying nutrition and understanding the science behind and power of food as medicine, and how important having the right tools are in empowering you to take charge of your own health. In creating Sakara Life and following our 9 pillars of nutrition, my body and health completely changed (both mentally and physically). My mindset shifted from what I ‘shouldn’t’ eat to the abundance of foods I needed to eat in order to nourish my body. I decided it would be my mission to share this way of eating and living with the world in the hope that I could help others have a similar transformation. One of the most freeing things in life is to learn how to listen to your body, nourish, and have reverence for it – and I’ve dedicated my life to help others build a body they love and understand just how healing plants can be.”
What’s been your proudest moment (so far) as the Founder & Co-CEO of Sakara?
“Whenever I feel proud, it’s because I’ve been able to be a part of someone else’s transformation. Each ‘Sakaralite’ has their own ‘Sakara Story’ which details their journey to Sakara and the ‘why’ behind the commitment to their health. This is truly what has kept me motivated and excited to wake up each and every day to do this work. We have thousands of beautiful and courageous stories about how people have transformed their lives using Sakara– from a woman with Lupus who had lost all hope, to busy mothers who have forgotten who they are and what they deserve, to those dealing with cancer and chemotherapy, to those who lost the weight that was keeping them from shining their bright lights. I’m honored to be a part of these journeys and look forward to hearing the millions of Sakara Stories-to-be. Sharing one of our most recent, powerful Sakara Stories below that shows the incredible power of food as medicine:
“…I actually started Sakara because I was diagnosed with what has apparently been a lifelong thyroid condition. I had resigned myself to my hard work, exercising, and eating nutritiously never paying off. Thankfully, it turned out a Sakara diet really aligned with the kind of diet shift my endocrinologist said would be most beneficial for ameliorating my condition. Eating Sakara has meant that I have been able to treat my condition with diet, instead of medication, which has been really amazing!..”
In a holistic sense, what does it mean to, ‘Live the Sakara life?’ and how can women take the first steps to cleaner living?
“Sakara’s mission is to transform lives by providing the tools necessary for you to sit in the driver’s seat of your own health, turn your thoughts and dreams into reality. The word Sakara is actually a loose translation of a Sanskrit word meaning to make or manifest. Living the Sakara Life means feeling really good in your mind and body so you can achieve anything you desire, and for each person it looks a little different because it’s authentic to the individual’s aspirations and dreams. The one piece that doesn’t change though is that it starts on your plate, with food as the foundation. It’s so crucial that we focus on eating fresh, live plants, as it’s the #1 thing we can do to support a healthy microbiome and live a cleaner lifestyle (Over 90% of Americans aren’t eating enough plants). Sakara’s Organic Nutrition Program was built on our unique pillars of nutrition, that serve as a framework to instill healthy, sustainable eating habits. Starting out on this journey can often feel overwhelming, so this is a great starting point to create the framework for a healthier way of living. The two that will make the biggest difference is to start eating enough greens and getting a diversity of plants. Doing this promotes optimal microbiome health and ensures you’re getting all the essential nutrients and minerals to function as optimally as possible. If you’re interested in learning more about our Pillars of Nutrition, you can check out more information here.”
How did your body’s food needs change during and after your pregnancy with Star? Did you approach nutrition differently with your second pregnancy with the benefit of hindsight?
“Throughout my pregnancy with Star and postpartum I didn’t change much in my diet. The beauty of living the Sakara Life is cultivating that body intelligence and being in tune with how I feel. During both pregnancies, I’ve focused on flooding my body with all the nutrients needed to promote healthy development for my growing baby to ensure that both of us are being nourished. After having Star, I continued to eat my greens and have a diversity of plants, along with prioritizing my hydration (this is particularly crucial for breastfeeding!). Our Sakara Beauty Water Drops have been a staple throughout both of my pregnancies as they help restore and elevate the mineral content of water. Together, the minerals create an environment of alkalization, hydration, PH balance, and appropriate absorption. This is crucial for pregnant and breastfeeding mamas, as we need to ensure our electrolyte and mineral balance is high and that we’re properly hydrated. For days when I’m too busy to get in my 6-8 cups of greens, I also love adding our Protein + Greens into my smoothies.
For my second pregnancy, the biggest game changer has been taking our newest product, The Foundation: Prenatal. Whitney and I created this because we couldn’t find anything on the market that met our standards. It’s the cleanest prenatal on the market, made with ingredients that are certified organic whenever possible, free of fillers, chemical solvents, preservatives, colors, gluten, and animal by-products. This product was formulated to ensure you have the solid base of the nutrition you need for you and your baby’s optimal health throughout the various stages of pregnancy and motherhood. Eating my Sakara meals and taking these supplements has truly helped me feel my best and know that I’m getting proper nourishment for myself and my baby.”
What’s your advice to talking to kids about using food as fuel, nourishment and a way to stay healthy?
“First of all it’s not what you say to your kids about food, but what they see you do every single day! If your children see you not only making healthful choices, but also having a healthy relationship to your plate, they are more likely to adopt those habits as well. Eating organic is crucial and there are so many ways to incorporate fun, healthy food into their diet. With Star, I show her that no food is off limits – we love to share an almond croissant every now and then – but she also sees me eating my Sakara daily. Rather than forcing nutrition on your kids, make it fun! They love to learn about plants: how they grow, what vitamins and minerals they contain, and of course, how delicious they taste when lovingly prepared. My daughter lights up when she hears that their food will make her grow tall and strong, make her belly healthy and happy, and even fuel her brain. Most importantly though, don’t stress over being perfectly clean. There is no “perfect” diet and just like adults, kids should be able to lean into the joy factor and enjoy that Maman cookie every now and then.”
Danielle’s Holiday Gift Picks
“Crayons are always a good idea, and these are so cute and fun in an unexpected shape”
“This kept my little one entertained for HOURS and that’s the best gift to give a parent!”
“I had a tea set when I was little and have such fond memories of playing with it”
“The perfect onesie, even if it only stays white for a week”
“If you want to be the cool auntie, this is the pick for you!”
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