Sana Sana is the manifestation of the desire to heal and empower our family and communities through ancestral food ways. Brian and Maria Parra Cano are parents of Yolehua, Quizani, Ayocoyani (d) and Tonaliztli. Along with Sana Sana, they also own and operate Ironwood Metal Works and Indigena.
Brian has a Masters in Education from Arizona State University and is originally from El Paso, Texas. Brian is the youngest of two children of Bertha Cano from Las Cruces, New Mexico and Jesus Cano from Tornillo, Texas.
Maria received her MBA from Grand Canyon University and was born and raised in Barrio Garfield in Phoenix, AZ. Maria is one of 8 surviving children of Maria Cristina Parra Martinez (d) from San Simon, Texcoco, Mexico and Jose Arturo Parra from Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Personal statement from Maria Parra Cano:
My interest in food began at a very young age in the kitchen with my mami and 5 sisters. In 2005, I became interested in learning how to cook foods differently for my family and I attended Scottsdale Culinary Institute - Le Cordon Bleu. I worked a full-time job while attending school with the goal of opening a restaurant one day.
As the years passed, my parents and a few siblings became diabetic and were learning how to check their blood sugar and take medications. Fast forward to 2013, I became pregnant with our first daughter, Yolehua, and I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. After her birth, it did not go away and I had to learn how to care for myself differently. I became low-carb vegan to help to help regulate my blood sugars naturally. I began focusing on our ancestral, indigenous foods and began teaching cooking classes around the city.
Each pregnancy was considered "high risk" and I would use insulin 4-6 times a day. Upon the birth of our last daughter Tonaliztli, I was back in the hospital for postpartum hypertension/ preeclampsia and was put on medication that would not allow me to leave my bed. The medications actually put me at risk of a stroke and a heart attack. I began researching herbs and foods that would help level my blood pressure and blood sugars and took them religiously. Weeks later, I was told that my A1C was within normal range and that I would be off the blood pressure medication!!
I believe that our ancestral plants and food medicine healed my body and now it is our turn to help our community heal. Sana Sana was born and once we meet our goal, we will be on the streets of Phoenix taking healthy food to the people and will be available for catering and pop ups! We plan on incorporating more cooking classes with our trailer as well as increasing accessibility to good, wholesome food within our communities.