Mana Retreat Centre

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Our Mana Kitchen &

Vegetarian Food Philosophy


Our beautiful, open plan kitchen is the warm, nourishing centre of Mana and the food served to guests is a vital aspect of the Mana experience. It gives us pleasure to share some of our most requested recipes, the food philosophy behind our menus and in the process respond to the questions most often asked about the food served at Mana.



The Little Book of Mana Kitchen Recipes is on Sale 

Despite the fact that many of the guests who visit Mana are not vegetarian, many have gone home with this tried-and-true cookbook. The Little Book of Mana Kitchen Recipes leads with a whole foods approach to vegetarian food, with equal weight put on deliciousness and nutrition. Many dishes offer gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options. Get your downloadable PDF version and re-treat yourself today!

Our Food Philosophy

Most frequent questions and answers

Why is Mana totally vegetarian?

Like many retreat centres around the world, Mana has always been vegetarian. We believe that this diet supports simple, healthy eating that promotes a clear mind and body, while treading lightly on the planet.

Does every group eat the same menus?

Our menus vary to support the group: a simple ‘Indian’ type of diet for a yoga group; menus following ayurvedic or macrobiotic principles when this is part of the teaching; healthy vegetarian twists on familiar dishes for newcomers adjusting to a new way of eating; a mostly raw, detoxifying menu to help alkalise and cleanse the body where health & rejuvenation a primary focus; specialised diets for particular health conditions like the Gawler Institute diet for cancer patients based on the “Living into Health” cookbook by Ian Gawler.

What is Mana’s food philosophy?

We use local, seasonal, fresh, homemade whole foods; organic wherever possible. An increasing amount of food is grown on the Mana land and we preserve when there is seasonal abundance. We serve a whole food, mostly organic menu and each meal has sources of protein and a good percentage of raw foods. Typically we serve the main meal at lunchtime when we are more active and a lighter meal of soup and salads in the evening. This is usually followed by the ever important treat of a dessert.

Will my body get enough protein?

Each meal served at Mana takes protein supply into account and over the day the body is supplied with totally adequate amounts – rice milk mixed into hot cereal, the nut butters and other tasty spreads, the seeds & nuts sprinkled through salads, the tahini in the delicious dressings, the quinoa and other whole grains, as well as the more obvious beans, legumes, eggs, dairy products, tofu & tempeh.

What about special diets?

Special diet requests have increased along with nutrition and health trend awareness. We cater to vegan, gluten and dairy free diets. Guests with more complex food choices (when food is being used as medicine) are encouraged to stay off-site and bring packed meals (not requiring heating) to meet their dietary needs. A fridge is available for daily food storage.

What about all the carbohydrates served in a vegetarian diet?

As in all things, balance is important. A high protein, low carb diet over an extended time for weight loss and to reduce insulin production can stress the kidneys and liver. Whole food carbohydrate sources, including vegetables, are typically slowly absorbed by the body and therefore low on the glycemic index. The other advantage of whole grains is that nature has a great skill in packaging vital vitamins, minerals and oils along with carbohydrates for the best absorption and health.

Visit our Recipe Library

Online Library


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