Mom Talk with Sakara Life Founders and Working Moms Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle
Mom Talk with Sakara Life Founders and Working Moms Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle
When Whitney Tingle and Danielle Duboise saw a gap in the market for nutritious, sustainable meals pre-prepared and delivered straight to your doorstep, they jumped on the idea and created Sakara. Today the company is much more that a plant-based nutrition program and delivery service, but also a curator of the best wellness products (there own as well as other like-minded brands), a podcast, and an online magazine with a mission to feed both your mind and soul.
We caught up with the friends and co-CEO's to talk all things nutrition, pregnancy, and mom-life.
What are your go-to meals during pregnancy?
D: Life is busy these days, whether it’s with work or chasing after Star, I really appreciate and rely on having my Sakara meals on hand to make sure I’m getting all the leafy greens and essential nutrients my body needs to support my body and the growing little one. I’ve been craving beans, rice, and corn tortillas (made locally, all organic!) with some hot sauce -- thinking this little babe likes some spice!
W: When I’m not receiving my Sakara deliveries (which has continued to be such a blessing to have during these busy and tiring times!), I love to make things using ingredients from my mom’s huge organic garden and love to pair it with my new favorite hummus recipe. I’ve just recently discovered the secret to the perfect homemade hummus -- which starts with boiling the cooked beans in baking soda water for about 20 minutes. Try it! It makes the smoothest, creamiest, dreamiest hummus to pair with any fresh veggie!
What are your on-the-go nutrition hacks?
D: For days when I feel super rushed, I keep healthy snacks with me at all times so I can make sure I am still filling my body with foods that have nutritional value. I love having our granolas on hand to mix with a nut milk and on days when I'm in a rush, I swear by our Energy Bars. They are jam packed with essential nutrients that support stable energy levels, clarity, and alertness (without the effects of caffeine)!
W: For days when I need a quick snack, I’ve been reaching for our Detox Bars which is packed with amazing ingredients, including blue spirulina which provides a whole host of added nutrients!
What is your all-time favorite recipe from Sakara?
D: Superfood Pancakes with Chia-Berry Compote, which is in our cookbook, Eat Clean, Play Dirty. They’re high in protein, fiber, minerals, and are DELICIOUS!
W: Youth & Beauty Salad -- In creating it I wanted to make sure it was the most hydrating, most beautifying meal. I use a bed of romaine lettuce (one of the most hydrating greens), a rainbow of vegetables like beets, carrots, and cucumbers to provide phytonutrients that help with circulation, pomegranate seeds for extra antioxidants, and superfood sprinkle with hemp and pumpkin seeds. (Hemp is super anti-aging and one of my all time favorite ingredients because it contains essential fatty acids and is a complete protein. I sprinkle it on almost all my salads!)
How has your wellness routine changed while being pregnant?
D: In terms of my beauty routine, I’ve been keeping things simple! I exfoliate every morning with Dr. Goldfaden Scrub and then use Barbara Sturm Anti-aging Serum and Vintners Daughter Serum. Nourishing my body properly is so crucial to my beauty routine especially while I’m pregnant, as I know it affects how my body functions, feels, and looks. I’ve been making it a priority to drink 20 ounces of water first thing in the morning and add in our Sakara Beauty Water Drops. These drops help make your water more absorbable by your cells, allowing for more hydration. In terms of maintaining my mental and physical health, I’ve also been trying out new workout classes with Fit Pregnancy Club, as I’m still trying to make time to move my body every day. Even on days when I’m too tired, I try to take a walk with my family to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and spend quality time together.
W: While being pregnant and in quarantine, I’ve really simplified my life and routine to be less fussy and focus on the essentials of what I (and baby) really need. That goes for my personal care and skincare routines too. I’ve started using more skin oils -- focusing more on nourishing my skin, rather than “fixing” it. Same when it comes to my nutrition. When you’re growing a baby inside you, food becomes 100% about nourishment and getting the right ingredients to supply the body and baby with everything they need to thrive.
How do you find balance?
D: I try to always be kind to myself and keep things in perspective. We often feel like we aren’t doing enough as mothers and I think it’s so important to be gentle to ourselves as we are all trying to figure out how to juggle motherhood, life, and work at the same time. I’m not sure there is a balance, the pendulum just swings and that’s okay.
W: I will say that my Sakara deliveries continue to be a lifesaver as I haven’t figured out how to find time to cook three meals a day while continuing to work full time, running a business from home, and dealing with the various effects of being pregnant and exhausted. Having something truly healthy and nourishing in the fridge that’s ready to eat is a game changer and allows me to spend my time and energy focusing on what I need to accomplish each day.
How do you practice self-care?
D: I practice self-care by listening to my body and spirit for what they both need. Whether that’s getting my leafy greens in or enjoying a delicious croissant because I’m craving it or taking five minutes a day to meditate and relax, it’s so important to enjoy life and prioritize time for yourself. Here at Sakara, we always talk about joy as a nutrient and it’s important to remember that throughout all aspects of our life -- whether it’s what we are eating, what we are listening to, and the things that we do. We must always listen to our inner voice.
W: I’ve definitely spent more time on self-care and really listening to what my body needs, whether it’s making sure I’m getting enough nutrients, moving my body every day, or just taking the time to relax and unplug. I’ve found that my skincare and body care routine has really become a daily ritual that is very relaxing and soothing for me. Being pregnant, I am definitely more aware of body and belly care. I’ve tried many different oils and body balms and the Mutha Body Butter and G.day Black Pepper+Rosehip Energy Body Oil are my absolute favorites. For days when I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed and stressed, I try to relax and unplug by listening to podcasts that stimulate creativity and inspire me.
What makes you feel like a good mom?
D: Watching my child have fun, learn, and eat (talk to any mother about how good it feels to watch your child enjoy a meal!).
W: When I do the things to take care of myself that take care of my baby -- things like making sure I take my prenatal vitamins every day (even when I don’t want to), eating enough fresh veggies, swimming and moving my body, drinking four quarts of water each day, and getting enough sleep.
What is one lesson that you'll teach your kids?
D: Kindness is everything -- both to yourself and others.
W: Self awareness -- recognizing your own actions and reactions and how they affect or impact others.
What excites you most about motherhood?
D: Creating life and then watching her grow into her own being. It’s so magical.
W: I’m most excited to feel the unconditional love that so many parents describe as they welcome a new child into the world. It’s hard to wrap my head around what that feeling will be like even as my due date gets closer and closer.
How was your pregnancy? Or what has surprised you most about pregnancy?
D: Both pregnancies have been relatively easy, minus the normal fatigue, swollen feet, and early nausea. I guess the biggest surprise was that lessons in motherhood come during pregnancy too, not just once the baby is here... so listen and be ready!
W: Physically, it’s obviously a lot of change. My body is growing and expanding to create room for a new baby. The body is truly incredible. Mentally and emotionally I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I’m going to have a child. I think I still don’t know what it means until it happens.
Are there any parenting books or resources you've found helpful?
D: I’ve loved Janet Lansbury’s books on parenting, and her podcast, Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled.
W: I started with Why Did No One Tell Me This? The Doulas' (Honest) Guide for Expectant Parents by Natalia Hailes and Ash Spivak, which I loved, and just finished, Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah J. Buckley. And of course, our friend Dr. Aviva Romm’s website is just a wealth of knowledge. A resource must for any expecting mother!
How has life changed for you since becoming a mother/pregnant?
D: Becoming a mother to Star has completely changed my entire being. It’s really hard to have a bad day when I get to wake up to her smiling face. It truly made me realize what’s important in life and I’ve learned so much from her. Every day is a gift, even when it’s hard.
W: I’ve had to slow down a lot. Both metaphorically and literally! My normal day-to-day would typically include running non-stop from morning till late at night, but now I can’t do that. I need to prioritize time to rest and take care of myself in order to nourish this baby. Luckily being in quarantine has helped make it easier for me to say no to social events and things of that nature!
How are you different and similar to your own mother?
D: My mother always made me feel like the stars and the moon to her -- like I was the most important thing in the world. It gave me so much confidence and such a springboard to jump from. I hope I give my child the same feeling.
W: My mother taught me that a woman can do anything she puts her mind to. That there are no limits to what we can do or create. I feel like now, sometimes I’m the one that has to remind her of that. But it’s been one of the greatest gifts she's given me! Empowerment.
What is the best/most useful piece of advice you've received about motherhood?
D: Your inner voice is the expert and no one else.
W: Trust your instincts. Advocate for yourself and what you want for your baby.
What is the one activity and/or toy you can't leave the house without?
D: A water paintbrush, my little one loves it!
W: Being in Arizona where temperatures reach above 100 on the daily, I’ve been loving my mini, personal fan to take with me everywhere I go!
Have you ever been mom-shamed?
D: Not that I know of but I’m too uninterested to notice. I’m sure people have given me glances or judgements but I could care less and I don’t take the time to notice. I’m still breastfeeding my 26 month old and I’m sure people care but… meh!
W: Not yet, but I’m sure it will happen…
Since becoming a mother/pregnant, is there a product that you wish existed but haven't been able to find?
D: No, but I was an early adopter to the Willow and since their first version I know they’ve improved a bunch so I’m excited to try it out. I loved it then, but it definitely had some kinks.
W: A pregnancy bed. Can someone please tell me the secret to finding a comfortable sleeping position?!
What is a recent parenting/pregnancy experience that made you laugh and/or cry?
D: Crying while making a picture book for my toddler’s school. Time flies, it’s true!
W: My midwife asked me if I’m going to miss my belly and having this baby growing inside of me. Looking forward to meeting this little babe, but sad that this intimate time will be over soon -- it’s so special!