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Opening a Plant Based Kitchen with Karla
3 minute read

Pictures by Carlos Oberhausser

Words by Harmony Sunshine

When passion becomes your project

Nula is our plant based kitchen here at Zūnya, an ever evolving concept with a consistent intention to nourish people with the food and energy they need in order to feel comfortability in its simplest form. The seed of this passion project was formed, planted, and nourished by our very own Zūnya co-creator, Karla. When asked when and how she fell in love with food, she remarked, “my mom used to serve us pasta noodles with ketchup and sausage for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” Karla explained that the exploration and experimentation with different food was never a prominent part of her childhood. So the journey of falling in love with food and curating creative dishes was a refreshing experience for her as she voyaged into the world.

It is a pivotal moment in someone’s life when they realize that their body holds the wisdom that the mind seeks to understand. For Karla, this moment came to her during her travels to Mexico. After two years of enduring endless tummy aches and a continuous mind fog that prevented her from feeling much desired clarity, Karla’s body was calling out to her. You know when people say trust your gut? That is the voice she was hearing, her gut was asking to be nourished and fed with things more nutrient, colorful and fresh, so she listentened. As Karla began to lead a life from her intuitive gut voice through consuming mostly plant based food and drink, she was astonished at how quickly her body began to thank her. She realized that the food she consumed was largely impacting her thoughts and emotions, as it does for all of us. You know what they say, you are what you eat! Karla found that eating plant based, contrary to popular belief, had opened up a world of exploratory possibilities. Rather than feeling restricted to a colorful corner of the food world, she felt that there was now so much more that she could consume than before. She just had to get curious about alternative routes. 

Just a few years after this life-changing transition within her body, Karla and her fiancée, Diego, were beginning to co-create the project of Zūnya. The idea of Nula came very naturally within that process. Karla remarked, “we never really had time to plan this, it was just super spontaneous. I started cooking for the people living here at Zūnya and then Diego came to me one day like, ‘why don’t you open a restaurant?’” Karla proceeded to tell him that she didn’t know what it would take to open a restaurant because she had barely ever even worked in the industry. But she knew one thing for sure; she loved creative cooking and how these foods made her feel and it would feel like a disservice not to share this feeling. So regardless of what fear and questions would arise, the two of them decided to give it a whirl. Now, just less than a year later, their momentary vision has been nourished to life. 

Karla had reversed the multiple chronic diseases she had suffered with a change in the food she consumed, and a refresh of her environment and the people she chose to surround herself with. These three healing factors of her own life are what built the foundation of Nula. Naturally, the essence of the space is largely correlated to the ancestors who were inhabiting this land long before us. They were travellers from Mexico, belonging to the Otomi civilization, who settled here and lived off of the land. Nula’s pillars are painted with artwork emulating the same paintings that these beautiful people left behind. The food is curated from fresh nutrient packed ingredients, so we too can be nourished by the land. The atmosphere of Nula is accepting, pure and comfortable. It is not just a restaurant but a place where we can connect to our human family without the usual masquerade of an overly formal setting. It is a space where we sit humbly, close to the earth, and begin to feel at home once more. A place where co-creations are birthed while our bodies are nourished with love.