I decided to go fully plant-based over a year and a half ago, and the reasons behind it are the hormonal imbalance I’ve been struggling with ever since I moved to the US. I’ve been paleo for a couple of years before I switched, and it had been working wonderfully, as with my celiac disease, I have problems with processing any type of grains.
While I was living in Spain (up to 3 years ago), I was eating a lot of fish, and very little meat which made me feel really good, but here in the US, the food is just different. I am really not happy with the quality, and I’ve been experiencing certain…discomforts…all the time.
So, I decided to try to eliminate anything that might cause inflammation or any sort of bad reaction in my body, and go plant-based. I won’t call myself a ‘vegan’ because I hate labels, and in some inexplicable way, today that gives people the right to judge and lash out whenever someone posts a picture in leather shoes, uses a certain make-up brand or even eats honey (cause cruelty towards bees is a huge thing…obviously….).
I understand the whole ethical concept behind it, and I fully support it, but I am doing this primarily for different reasons, and I believe everyone should support others when they are making changes that will help them get healthier while also contributing to the general wellbeing.
That being said, I have been on the Sakara Life train for almost a year now, first using their meals as a ‘filler’ for my plant-based days (I used to have a mixture of paleo/vegan days throughout the week), and then switching completely when I realized how good I felt after those days, and how ‘not-so-good’ I felt after the ones which included meat, dairy, or eggs.
After loving their signature program, I decided to take it one step further…and do their signature Level II Detox Cleanse, an expert-level cleanse program designed by functional medicine doctor Aviva Romm, for a gut-healing, harmful-pathogen-removal, hormones-recalibrating and inflammation-reducing total body reset…and here’s what happened.
Sakara set-up the whole healing process by taking a Two-Step approach in order to cleanse the body, make it more efficient to burn stored fat, and replenish the gut with good bacteria :
Step 1- Eliminate anything that might trigger a stress response or cause inflammation.
While all of their meals are already free from meat, fish, dairy, gluten, refined sugar, pesticides, chemicals, toxins, alcohol, & GMOs; Level II takes it a step further and also eliminates nuts, all sugar (including fruit), soy, nightshades (white potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, chili peppers), & caffeine.
Step 2 — Nourish the body with ingredients which help restore its ability to heal and repair.
Level II meals are abundant in seeds, herbs, roots, adaptogens, probiotics, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, & chlorophyll which detoxify, repair, & protect your whole metabolism, stabilize the blood sugar and reduce cortisol levels.
The 10-step process:
#1 Keep the beauty sleep going even when you wake up. The day starts with 8 fl oz of water & 5 whole droplets of their well-known Beauty Water Concentrates, made with rose, silica, and 72 trace minerals. As we all know, our soil is really depleted, and when on a detox, our bodies lose lots of retained water (and with it, minerals), so the need to up-our-mineral-game is strong! The name ‘Beauty’ comes from the silica, which is known as ‘the beauty mineral’ for its ability to boost collagen and help cells soak up water, therefore giving the skin that smooth, amazing glow.
#2 Dry Brush your bikini body (ain’t nobody got time for cellulite!). I don’t know if you’ve ever tried this dry brushing, but I believe that every woman in the history of female cellulite discussion, has tried a massage technique. This one is somewhat different because the strokes you perform don’t have to be too strong. Dry brushing is a bit harsh on the skin at first, but once you get into it, you’ll make it a part of your pre-shower routine. The trick is to brush upwards (towards your heart) to stimulate circulation & lymph flow. It also exfoliates your skin (say bye -bye to dead skin cells), leaving your skin smoother and tighter. After brushing, hop in the shower to rinse those dead skin cells off & try alternating between hot & cold water temperature to stimulate the circulation even more.
#3 Brekkie time. One of the most important aspects of this detox (and why it makes it so different from others), is the focus on the connection between mind & body, setting the intention for your day first thing in the morning, eating more consciously (no phone, laptop or TV), and really chewing your food; experiencing all the different textures & flavors. With the morning veggie meal packed with fiber, you take your morning supplements (Vit B complex, Adaptogenic adrenal formula, antioxidant booster, taurine, g.i. Rebuild = repair formula & L- Theanine) with plenty of water to ensure better absorption. The reason for the extra supplementation is to ‘attack’ your body from every possible angle and provide micronutrient & antioxidant support.
#4 Have a cup of tea. Brewing a cup (or two) of Sakara’s Digestive Tea made with peppermint, meadowsweet & gentian reduces bloat, aids digestion and makes it easier to survive until lunch
#5 Eat the Rainbow Lunch. Once again, the focus is on being present while eating your nutritious meal. Take every bite consciously and make it last
#6 The Queen drinks her tea at 5pm, now you can too. Time for another cup (or two) of the delicious Digestive tea to help your body process lunch and prevent bloating.
#7 Snacking is the key to a healthy life. Am I right or am I right? Who doesn’t like snacking? Especially while we’re working, sitting for long hours or jumping from meeting to meeting…sometimes we really need them, other times we just made them a part of our habits. Nonetheless, Sakara turned snacking into something super nutritious with their amazing Probiotic Coconut Kefir rich in electrolytes and 20 billion bacterial cells per serving, designed to boost your metabolism & nourish your microbiome.
#8 When dinner is bae. I never thought something called ‘Medicinal Broth’ could taste so good. Made with more than 20 medicinal mushrooms, healing spices, herbs & MCT Oil, this magical broth activates the liver to go into deep detox mode, lowers cortisol, promotes restful sleep and brings your microbiome into balance. It’s supposed to be taken with the evening magnesium supplement and 25 billion viable bacterias probiotic formula designed to heal your gut.
#9 Dry brush your daily worries away. Once again, use your dry brush to get yourself ready for bed and let the magic happen while you sleep.
#10 Green Detox concoction to trigger your beauty sleep. Finish the day with 8 fl oz of water combined with 5 full droppers of Sakara’s Detox Water Drops which, in addition to the aforementioned 72 trace minerals, also has chlorophyll to support natural detoxification, improve circulation and promote cellular rejuvenation.
*The only day that differs from this routine is day 4, the liquid day, when your solid meals get replaced by two green detox juices and an alkalizing carrot-ginger soup(a.k.a. The hunger games are nothing compared to how I felt…but it made me feel SO amazing afterwards!). This day is designed to be the peak of the cleanse, because after 3 days of preparing and slowly easing into it, your body is ready to be fully detoxed and experience all the benefits.
Struggles, soundtracks, and a cheat day?
After the first 2 days, the bloat was real. Lots of fiber, probiotics & fermented foods worked their way through my gut and started repairing all that was wrong. Some people experience detox headaches — fortunately, I did not, but my bowel game was strong
Having celiac disease, my gut & intestines are already very weak and depleted of good bacteria, so it’s only natural that was my greatest reaction. Day 3 settled things for me, and I could feel getting into balance. My sleep was deeper, and therefore, my dark circles were gone, and my skin was feeling hydrated and glowy.
Day 4 was a struggle…not gonna lie…I was ready to pinch myself crazy to wake up and start the day with some solid food…buuuut I managed to muscle through it and actually woke up feeling so good the next day! It’s incredible what our minds can do to us when we let them…the self-talk was so real.
Day 5 felt like a cheat day
All the food tasted so much better than ever before; it was like my taste buds were reborn! I know it sounds crazy, but I literally felt like I was eating chocolate instead of kabocha squash.
Eating with no TV, phone or laptop…This part was a real challenge, as I always watch something on TV or scroll through my phone…it’s actually so weird not to do it! I was like…umm…ok…chew, chew, swallow….chew, chew, swallow…staring at my food, inspecting it like something was wrong with it…And then I put some good music on…and it was all better
Dry brushing is my new obsession. I absolutely L O V E it! I used to do it a long time ago, and I have no idea why I stopped (must have read somewhere how it wasn’t a trend anymore). It gave me such a boost of energy in the morning and it helped with muscle fatigue before bed. My skin is so smooth and I can swear I see less cellulite (at least that’s what I tell myself).
The BEST part of the whole cleanse and my biggest surprise is the Medicinal Broth. How can something made out of herbs, roots & mushrooms taste so damn good, beats me! I have made it my mission to recreate it and include it in my weekly dinner menu (at least twice per week).
Would I recommend it?
This cleanse was so different, eye opening and life-changing for me. The reason behind it is not just the nourishing and detoxifying food program, or the amazing products such as water concentrates and digestive tea, but the way it makes you craft some time for yourself (dry brushing), set an intention for each day, chew your food thoroughly without any distractions, and bring you to the present moment. Obviously, the other benefits are also very noticeable and important (dark circles gone, improved sleep, zero water retention, radiant skin), but this whole mind-to-body connection is the real reason why I would recommend Sakara to anyone; not only those looking to shed a few pounds and detox after a week of vacation indulging, but also to those simply wanting to improve the quality of their life
The Level II Detox runs once every month, and the next one starts on January 13th, so if you’re interested, make sure to save your spot and use the code XOKARLA to get 20% off! You can also use the code for anything on their website- you’re welcome!