It’s a pleasure to introduce you to Maz Valcorza. This gorgeous girl is behind the incredible Sadhana Kitchen, a raw foods wonderland I was so grateful to experience a few weeks ago. It’s raw, clean, vegan whole food cuisine at its finest. Learn more about Maz’s motivation and why she’s a believer in raw foods and a committed yoga practice.
NAME: Maz Valcorza
OCCUPATION: Director & Wholefoods Jedi at Sadhana Kitchen
LOCATION: Enmore, New South Wales
Tell us a little about who you are, what you do and how you got here:
I’m one of the co-founders and the director of Sadhana Kitchen, Sydney’s first organic, raw & vegan wholefoods café. Prior to opening Sadhana, I was a nurse and then later worked in pharmaceutical health and marketing, so I’ve always had an interest in healthcare (and have been exposed to various facets of it too!). I began my raw vegan journey after studying to become a yoga teacher. Through yoga, I learnt about the principle of ahimsa, which essentially means non-violence, and I adopted a vegan lifestyle in order to do the least possible harm whilst moving towards ultimate health and happiness. Raw food was a natural progression from veganism because I was searching for a way of eating that tasted incredible while supporting my wellbeing. It just so happens that creating raw recipes fueled my creative fire, and the lifestyle really resonated with me. These days, Sadhana Kitchen has an amazing team of chefs and passionate employees that make magic for our customers to enjoy every single day. I spend most of my time running raw food workshops, creating new recipes, working on our upcoming book and spreading the organic, plant based, raw & wholefoods love.
What does “health” mean to you?
Health means being happy and experiencing each moment as fully as possible. To do this, we need to cultivate wellness in our minds, bodies and spirits – so that this vehicle we use to experience life, can do so freely and joyfully.
What brings balance to your life?
My yoga practice. I practice ashtanga yoga daily and it allows me to disconnect from all of that which is impermanent and be at peace with myself. In the same way, eating organic plant based raw foods keep my body and mind healthy and free to experience every moment completely. Of course, my satsang, the people I spend my time with including my family, friends and Sadhana Kitchen family help make every day so much more fun.
Can you share your food philosophy?
My approach to food is that it can be used as a powerful tool to connect with our own personal wisdom and take sovereignty over our health and happiness. Sadhana is Sanskrit for conscious spiritual practice and at Sadhana Kitchen, we believe that what we put into our bodies each day can help to nurture the body, mind and soul. I also think it’s important to accept and be mindful of the fact that every single person is unique and experiencing a distinctive aspect of their journey at any moment. So rather than being told how and what to eat or how to be as healthy as possible, everyone should have the opportunity to receive information freely and openly and use that to cultivate their own culture of health and happiness. Personally, I believe that being mindful about what we eat not only helps us look after our own health, but also that of our world.
What is your favourite way to stay active?
Yoga is a daily practice, I also enjoy hitting the trampoline, running, dancing and just being outside – walking or riding around.
How do you silence that inner critic?
It can be hard sometimes, especially when you are working for something you are so passionate about, you want to make sure you’re being and doing your best all the time. Meditation helps, and my daily practice. Meeting any negativity with light, love and positive thoughts until that becomes your inner voice. I’m not there yet, but the practice is very helpful nonetheless.
Who is your greatest health inspiration?
When I first started on this journey, I read and followed Kimberly Snyder. She’s an amazing nutritionist that provides easy to follow, accessible and powerful information about health and wellbeing. She’s awesome!
Where is your favourite place on earth?
Bay of Fires in Tasmania. It’s pretty spectacular there, and peaceful. It’s paradise.
What quote best sums up your wellness philosophy?
“Already know you, that which you need.” – Yoda
What is your favourite healthy snack?
Green smoothies! Supercharged with superfoods like hemp seeds, reishi, maca, all the good stuff. I’m also pretty fond of Sadhana Kitchen’s sweet potato chips with our house made guacamole and some of our coconut bacon.
What is next on the cards for you? Your goals and aspirations?
Our book will be released in August and Sadhana Kitchen will be opening for dinner soon too. My goal is to keep working towards Sadhana Kitchen making conscious food accessible to more and more people, filling bellies with organic raw vegan goodness and helping our customer’s connect with their own personal wisdom and cultivate their own brand of health and wellbeing.
Please share the recipe you make when someone needs convincing that healthy food tastes amazing:
This dish is super simple yet absolutely delicious and packs a nutritional punch. It’s perfect for a healthy lunch or dinner and it’s oh so good. Kelp is rich in more than 70 minerals, including potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and iodine. Iodine is a mineral that is essential for glandular health. Iodine deficiency can lead to poor thyroid function, and the thyroid is responsible for many important bodily processes like metabolism. It also contains enzymes, vitamins, trace elements, and more than 21 amino acids. With all of these nutrients packed in, kelp noodles make for a healthy alternative to pasta or rice.
- 1 packet kelp noodles
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 carrot julienned
- 1 zucchini julienned
- 1 capsicum julienned
- 1 cup wombok shredded
- 1 packet enoki mushrooms
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil
- 1 lime juiced
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 inch knob ginger peeled
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 4 tbs tamari
- 1 pinch cayenne
- Get step by step instructions from Maz here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xW7_Vi_aaE
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