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140+ Tasty Raw Vegan Recipes For Health And Wellness

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Book Details
 257 p
 File Size 
 12,727 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 978 1 95253 335 8 ebook
 978 1 74336 641 7 UK
 978 1 74336 623 3 Australia
 Published in 2016   
 by Murdoch Books, an imprint of Allen & Unwin

There once was a nurse-turned-pharmaceutical sales
manager in Sydney who had always eaten whatever
she wanted, partied hard, chain smoked, exercised
enough to ‘stay fit’ and didn’t think very much about
the repercussions of her actions.
One day, she decided to take up yoga, because it seemed like a great way
to get a bit more coordination and a toned butt. Little did she know that
this snap decision, made out of curiosity and vanity, would change her life forever.

The pharmaceutical sales manager loved yoga so much, she studied to
become a yoga teacher. One yogic philosophy that really resonated with
her was that of ahimsa, which translates as ‘non-violence’ or ‘non-harm’.
This principle seems pretty straightforward: don’t walk around hurting
others. She soon came to realise that non-violence included avoiding injury
to all living beings, both directly and indirectly – and that changing what
she consumed as food was one of the most significant ways to ensure she
was doing as little harm as possible on a daily basis.
So she decided to adopt a plant-based diet – specifically a vegan one,
which differs from a vegetarian diet by avoiding not only animal flesh of
any kind, but also all animal-derived products, such as eggs, dairy and honey.

She knew a plant-based diet could definitely provide all the essential
nutrients, so she started researching nutrient-dense vegan options. Then
she came across the concept of ‘raw’ food and it piqued her curiosity. What
on earth was ‘raw’ pizza – was the dough just not baked? Can you eat
more than just a bunch of carrot sticks and dip? Luckily the answer was no,
and yes, respectively.
She began experimenting with online recipes, and came to find ‘raw’
food so delicious, quick and easy that she started sharing recipes through
her own online blog. When she came up with the idea of making vegan
treats such as her Mango float cheezecake to sell to small cafes in her
spare time, the owner of her yoga studio let her use their kitchen space…
one thing led to another… and soon enough she was given a life-changing
opportunity to leave the pharmaceutical world and open Sydney’s very
first organic, raw, vegan cafe.
That girl was me, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped me on
this journey and supported what Sadhana Kitchen is all about: making
delicious, mindful, healthy food more accessible, and encouraging our
customers along their own journey with every bite.
These days, Sadhana Kitchen hosts a series of unique experiences,
including a signature ‘raw vegan high tea’, a seven-course raw food
degustation, raw cleanses, raw catering and lunch delivery services.
Sādhanā (pronounced sah-da-nah) is a Sanskrit term that translates as
‘one’s conscious spiritual practice’. Your sadhana is your daily ritual:
something you do consistently and consciously to enliven your every day.
At Sadhana Kitchen, we hope to share how eating ethical, healthy and
delicious food can help us connect with our personal wisdom. By eating
kindly and consciously every day, we remember to be more mindful in all
our daily choices, to pay more attention, and to celebrate the things we
enjoy and feel good about. By using delicious and beautiful raw vegan food
as this reminder – as our sadhana – we nudge our lives in a happier, more
purposeful direction.

.I was a child who ate

People often ask me how I became interested in raw food, how I found
myself living this lifestyle, and whether it’s difficult to maintain. For an
honest answer, I need to revisit my childhood and explain what eating was
like for me growing up.

When I was very young, I was incredibly fussy. Dad had to come up with
strategies to get me to eat what was on my plate. He would divide the
plate into sections and I had to eat at least half; I’d sit there for ages,
struggling to get it down. Of course, I would spread everything out across
the plate as thinly as possible, so I would have to eat far less than was intended.

Fast forward to my early teens, when I developed the voracious appetite
I have now. I still remember the day I became a ‘food monster’. I was in a
large food court and Mum gave me $20 to get something to eat. Usually I’d
get a medium serve of chips, and that would be enough – but this day was
different. I just couldn’t find enough food to satisfy my hunger. I ordered
two entire meals from a chicken joint, and a double cheeseburger meal
from a fast-food outlet. I ate all of it, and that became the norm for me for
the next decade.
My parents are Filipino, and for us a standard meal consisted of Spam
(yes, the one from the can!), eggs and garlic rice. Filipinos eat quite a meatheavy
diet, with lots of white rice to balance the strong flavours. We also
like to celebrate our many special occasions with lechón (a pig on a spit).
Food is a huge part of our culture, and the easiest, quickest and most
delicious way we show each other love.
Growing up, I honestly didn’t know many vegetables besides potatoes. I
loved potatoes, especially with corned beef (also from a tin!) and onions. It
wasn’t until I left home that I began to notice all the different vegies that
were actually available. It sounds extreme, but by no means were my
parents doing a bad job – they just fed us the same food that they’d been
fed when they were growing up.
So, you can imagine their horror when I told them I had taken up yoga,
and that not only did I no longer eat meat, I had become vegan, meaning I
didn’t eat any animal products at all. Filipino restaurants tend to be
challenged by the concept of ‘vegetarian’ food – when I ordered a vegie
dish at a Filipino restaurant in New York, it arrived at the table with minced
pork in it anyway. I remember looking at the waiter and saying, ‘I’m sorry,
but I asked for no meat,’ and he, with utmost sincerity, leaned in and
whispered, ‘Yes, maam, but how else will you get the flavour?’
Working as a nurse and then in pharmaceutical sales, I had been exposed
to the big business of healthcare. Even then I was taken aback by the
pharmaceutical industry’s power and influence, and how much profit there
is to be made, particularly from the ongoing pharmaceutical treatment of
lifestyle diseases. I am very aware of how such companies have helped
produce a plethora of medical advancements, but I couldn’t help feeling
there were also loads of drugs being marketed to treat problems that
might be improved by simply eating well and exercising.
My new way of eating and my daily yoga practice had my mother
questioning whether I had become a Hare Krishna. Many worries emerged:
how was I to be catered for at family gatherings? What was I meant to eat
when we went out? Who was ever going to marry a vegan? The standard concerns.

After making every vegan recipe I could get my hands on, even I began
to wonder if there was more variety and excitement to the vegan diet. I’d
been buying vegan versions of all of the junk food I used to eat, and
ordering one mock meat dish after the other… and it was less than
satisfying. Then along came ‘raw’ food, and I was hooked. Raw food was
vibrant, beautiful and fresh. I began eating a wider variety of food, and
more fruits and vegetables than I had ever eaten in my life. And everything
was so delicious, I didn’t feel I was missing out on anything, and it made me
feel so good. I had loads more energy, my skin became brighter, my mind
clearer, and the food was quick and easy to prepare. This was a huge
bonus, because my career back then involved lots of travel and left me
with little spare time.

all we can do is educate ourselves, try out a bunch of
things and see what works best
I also experienced my fair share of trials – not knowing what to eat when
I went out with my friends, having my family think I’d gone crazy, even
people who were downright rude about my new lifestyle choice and
attacked me for it. People have always been afraid of what’s different –
but why fear positive change?
However, the way to most people’s hearts is through their stomachs,
and with a little pre-planning, and a whole lot of making awesome dishes
for everyone to try, I managed to spend time with family and friends and
not be a total pariah. My boyfriend at the time also became vegan and
helped me open Sadhana Kitchen.
So, in time, my parents went from freaking out to meeting me halfway,
and helped support my new lifestyle with considerate little gestures. One
memorable attempt was at a large family gathering, where they cut the
head off the pig on a spit, and from a whole fish, and replaced the heads
with faces made of creatively sliced vegetables, so it wouldn’t upset me so
much. The fish’s new head was made of julienned carrots with raisin eyes
and a sliced celery mouth. The pig was given a whole iceberg lettuce head,
cherry-tomato eyes, carrot ears and a maniacal sultana smile. Not
particularly comforting, but I had to hand it to my mother for trying.
These days, my parents and brother drink green smoothies every day,
have cut out most meat from their diets, and occasionally eat seafood. It’s
amazing what happens when people see and feel ‘healthy’. It’s powerful
when people start to take sovereignty over their own wellbeing and make
more conscious choices for themselves, the beings we share this planet
with, and Mother Earth herself.
So, how do I feel when I see Spam these days? While I’d never touch it
again, it is associated with many happy childhood memories and shared
family bonding sessions. To me, it signifies how far I have come. It tells me
that we all have different backgrounds and experiences that colour our
current viewpoint. It reminds me that there is no ‘one size fits all approach’,
and that all we can do is educate ourselves, try out a bunch of things and
see what works best for us.

Seriously, do I really need to be healthy? 
What actually is the point of it all?
When I first started getting into my yoga practice and changing my diet
and lifestyle, I’d be asked this question all the time. And it really made me
think: what actually is the point?
For me, being as healthy as I could be meant I’d be as happy as I could be
– and I mean, who doesn’t want to be happy? I was a really sickly child. I
had pretty bad asthma, I had chest infections any time the weather
changed, I’d always catch whatever was going around, and was generally
quite frail. I was taking asthma maintenance medication right up until I
became vegan. Not long after making the change, however, I no longer had
a tight chest, persistent cough or any wheezing. I no longer got sick during
the change of seasons and, amazingly, I’d be fine when people around me
were knocked sideways by colds and flu.
It has now been about five years since I’ve needed to take any
pharmaceutical medication. If I do ever feel sick these days, my symptoms
are much less severe and my recovery time is super quick. I really feel I
have been able to prevent illness and heal illness with the food I eat.
Life can be challenging and busy enough – so, being sick when you can
otherwise avoid it just doesn’t make sense to me. And when you’re feeling
your best, there is very little standing in the way of living the life you want.

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.
How often do we hear others, and maybe even ourselves, complain about
feeling run down, or not having enough energy? When you live a healthy
lifestyle, your body and mind get taken care of, so you can go about your
day with more freedom and vitality.
Our bodies are the vehicles we use every day to navigate life. It’s a
simple concept, but easy to forget. How our body feels every day is a major
contributor to how we experience our lives, and to the overall quality of
contributor to how we experience our lives, and to the overall quality of our life.
How was your day at work? How was your weekend? Whatever you did
and whoever you were with, I’ll bet it probably sucked if you were feeling
tired, hungover, bloated, irritable, distracted, or just generally gross. Many
things can contribute to such uncomfortable and all-too-common feelings
ruining our days, but it’s pretty clear to me that the food we eat is a major
player. Get that right and you should notice the difference: more days
feeling happy, friendly and more content, whatever you are doing.

We live in a world where we are spoilt for choice. It is widely accepted that
having the ability to make choices in life is important and beneficial. Some
might think that if having the ability to choose is positive, then the more
choices the better. However, recent evidence suggests that having the
ability to choose benefits us, but only to a point. Several assessments of
wellbeing by social scientists suggest increased choices and affluence can
actually result in decreased wellbeing.
American psychologist Barry Schwartz, in his bookThe Paradox of
Choice, distinguishes between ‘maximisers’, who always aim to make the
best choice possible, and ‘satisficers’, who aim for choices that are good
enough, regardless of the options available. Perhaps surprisingly, he found
having too many choices can have negative effects, including regret about
declined opportunities, regret about options that have been chosen, and
high expectations, which make it easy for experiences to fall short of what
we had imagined. Compared with satisficers, maximisers often experienced
less satisfaction with life, were less optimistic and more depressed.
What does all this have to do with living a healthy lifestyle, eating well
and being well? Simply that there are so many eating plans, diets,
programs, supplements, lifestyles, exercises and health experts out there
that one can be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where
to start. It is also easy to understand why some people become obsessive
about their lifestyles, to the point that the entire practice is no longer
healthy or positive.
At Sadhana Kitchen, people often ask us: What is the absolute best type
of food to eat? What is the best diet to follow? What is the best exercise to
do? Is paleo better than vegan? Should I eat carbs? Should I quit sugar? Do
I need to be 100% raw? Should I only eat bananas?
The endless number of choices can leave people feeling defeated before
they’ve even begun – or completely fanatical for fear of missing out on that
elusive ‘very best’ choice. Neither of these outcomes results in a happy life.
I have found that this is one of the reasons people find making healthier
lifestyle changes so difficult – they become paralysed and confused by the
number of choices, many of which seem contradictory and confounding.
This is why it’s so important to work on the wisdom within, while also
This is why it’s so important to work on the wisdom within, while also
staying open to the fact that with greater knowledge and experience, you
may change your tune from time to time. It’s okay to just try being vegan,
or eating raw, for a little while. Maybe you’ll come back to it later, maybe
you won’t. Either way, you’re learning more about what works best for
you, empowering you to make better choices for yourself.

Most systems work best if they are kept simple, instead of being made
complicated. It’s just like the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
The same applies to creating a healthy lifestyle. A good place to start is
to look at what you really want, then compare this to what you think you
should want. For example, ‘I want… to be the fittest and healthiest version
of myself’ rather than, ‘I think I should… lose some weight and hit the gym
five times a week.’ These are two very different goals. It’s easy to think we
need that photoshopped model’s body, when all we really want is just to
look a little happier, and feel a little more confident and energised.

Table of Contents













For Corporate Orders & Custom Publishing contact Noel Hammond, National Business Development
Manager, Murdoch Books Australia

Publisher Corinne Roberts
Editorial Manager Jane Price
Design Madeleine Kane
Editor Katri Hilden
Photographer Ben Dearnley
Stylist Kristine Duran-Thiessen
Production Manager Alexandra Gonzalez

Text © Maz Valcorza 2016
Design © Murdoch Books 2016
Photography © Ben Dearnley 2016

The publisher thanks the following for props used in the photography:;
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