If there’s anyone poised to set our collective food goals, it’s the duo behind celeb-fave meal delivery service Sakara Life. Whitney Tingle and Danielle Duboise, who founded the brand in 2011, built their empire on a set of clear principles: eating a plant-based, rainbow-colored, nutrient-dense diet, all without severe restrictions or calorie counting. For Tingle and Duboise, that’s all embodied in their newest campaign, “No Sacrifices,” which flips the traditional restrictive diet mentality on its head to encourage people to view food as a source of abundance. “‘No sacrifices’ is our anthem for 2019,” says Tingle. “[It] means letting go of the age-old declaration to deprive, restrict, put up walls, and set limits for yourself and instead lean into joy and embrace the yes.” Sign. Us. Up.

We caught up with the founders to get their advice on how to make “no sacrifices” your 2019 mantra and incorporate the philosophy into your own life.

1. Choose abundance. “The phrase ‘Live Wildly, Eat Joyfully. No Sacrifices,’ means that having a foundation of health and enjoying all the flavor and pleasure of life need not be mutually exclusive,” says Duboise. The key here? Creating a new framework. When you start thinking of food as a form of self-care and as a means of building and prioritizing your healthiest self, harsh restrictions (think: cutting out all carbs) and limiting labels (i.e., paleo, vegan, pegan?) have no place. Instead, plan your meals around the beautiful, nourishing, vibrant foods you’re excited to incorporate every day, and tune into (rather than silence) cravings, which means, yeah, sure, French fries every now and again. “The paradigm shift is moving away from jumping on a diet bandwagon to change yourself and instead choosing nourishment and abundance,” Duboise notes.

2. Rethink “healthy.” “Food is information. It either does good things for us or bad things,” says Duboise. Before starting Sakara, notes Tingle, “We thought we were eating healthy by focusing on easy-to-eat foods like avocado toast, fiber cereals, yogurt, and granola. But just because a food style is considered ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean it equals a healthy diet.” It’s easy to fall into the trap of selecting healthyish processed foods, which are still often bogged down with added sweeteners, stabilizers, and refined flours stripped of their nutrient value. Instead, consider food as both fuel and tool, and choose healing, nutrient-rich foods (think: purple sweet potatoes, watercress, miso) that help you turn on specific genes to live with greater vitality, a concept called epigenetics.

3. Embrace quality over quantity. “We know that a calorie in does not equate to a calorie out,” says Duboise. “One thousand calories of soda versus one thousand calories of broccoli do very different things to your body,” she adds, which is why furiously tallying calories can lead to frustration. Focus on fiber, a variety of organic plants, and plenty of hydrating fruits and veggies — a concept promoted in the Sakara tenets as “eating your water.” It’s all about the importance of quality over quantity: Seeking out the good-for-you food that will help you build and maintain a healthy, strong body will also naturally help you maintain a healthy weight, no calorie counting necessary.

4. Skip the trends and resolutions. “We aren’t big on resolutions,” Tingle and Duboise tell us. “We believe you are what you do most of the time, especially when it comes to food!” Part of the “no sacrifices” mantra is living without boundaries, and resolutions often imply new rules and restrictions to live by. And if you’re following a vibrant, plant-rich, nutrient-dense diet, you’ll be treating yourself to a food relationship full of pleasure and abundance, and can happily bypass all those trendy flashes in the pan, say Duboise and Tingle: “It’s powerful.”

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(Photos via Sakara Life)

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