The power of Zen | Daily News

The power of Zen

It is exciting to travel again and explore new ways to see places through food and the enlightened characters that are changing the way we live our lives with healthy fun food, and kunalini yoga that will be the game changer in everyones lives.

So, where better to start than at Negombo’s colourful and quirky uber healthy vegan Café Zen owned by Yogi Sara, who puts love into everything she does from the breakfast smoothie bowls to the brunch sharing platter and orgasmically delicious vegan burger. The yellow bicycle, full of vibrant flowers, marks the entrance of this delightfully arty open-air garden eatery situated at 164 Lewis Place, Negombo. A lovely venue with even more lovely staff and incredibly popular with the locals, as Sara and her dynamic team care about your long term well-being, and the voodoo of the location with the comfy sofa and cushioned seats, that give it a home-from-home feel.

The café, opens from 9am to 6pm, only serves fresh, healthy vegan food, like the vegan pancakes and banana bread. As one Trip Advisor reviewer put it, “A true retreat from the ordinary, the ho-hum, and the stresses of modern day life.” Set in a well shaded little garden, one street back from the main beach stretch, it has just reopened, after a full post lockdown spring clean, for Friday, Saturday and Sundays, to serve their five out of five all day breakfasts and lunch options, that are so good you will find yourself even licking your fingers afterwards and the plate if you can get away with it. Sara, who owns the cafe and is also known for her kunalini yoga classes, wanted to bring something holistic and healthy to the stretch. After all, what is the point of getting up at the crack of dawn to do yoga and only having a greasy full English breakfast or buffet as your only option to kick start the day?

Sara’s philosophy, with her friendly committed team led by charming Host Ahmed, is to bring the best ingredients together, so you can feel good, both on the inside and the outside. So, go on! Be adventurous and try a passion fruit kombucha with healthy homemade cakes or her wickedly indulgent vegan ice cream with coconut caramel and chocolate cookies. The quality of the food, level of service, cleanliness and general welcoming and relaxed atmosphere all contribute to a most enjoyable time, whether you are a passing tourist or a regular, thrilled to be free from lockdown, to enjoy a space and place where people meet and mingle sharing experiences and exciting ideas of places to visit around the island. So go on immerse yourself in Sara’s twenty year exciting journey living in Negombo, where she also came as a tourist and fell in love with the island. Two decades later, three stunning children and a yoga teaching business that people log onto from all around the world, Sara knows as she smiles, handing me her latest healthy smoothie experiment with bee honey and cinnamon, that she is tapping into the change the world wants to see in this delightful rustic setting, where you can catch up with friends or sit on the couch and read a book while enjoying the world passing by. At Christmas, little ‘markets’ are set up in and around Café Zen so you can discover the varied art work from the artisans of the area and purchase a gift or souvenir that is truly original to Negombo, where handmade presents are part of the charm of the place.

So, why no take a dip in the ocean and start your weekend off with an orgasmic oats dish, which is porridge mixed with banana, cinnamon, nuts and seeds. My sons would travel half way around the world for Sara’s Zen pancakes, proving plant power pancake stacks are the sneaky option to giving your kids a healthy start to the day. You can of course spoil them by adding ice cream, loads of fruit with coconut instead of sugar drizzled on top. Returning for brunch is just as fun, after having a wander along the main hotel and shopping stretch, enjoying the fabulous potions and lotions from Spa Ceylon or Rodeo’s charming jewellery shop and Uber trendy bar. After exploring the shopping scene, pop back in a three-wheeler and try out Mr Mushy and Café Zen grazing board with its own homemade hummus and pesto sauce in which you can dip freshly cut vegetables. All around the café are messages and little bits of artwork provoking us to question day-to-day assumptions we all make, like might the world actually be flat, after all? A great place to really enjoy your weekend escape from Colombo or stop and pick up the islands smoothest coffee, or a small gift from the arty café walls and if experiencing a healthier life style is on your to do list, do book a yoga lesson with the eternally peaceful and clearly enlightened owner who embodies the philosophy of a healthy mind, body and soul, Sara.


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