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Archive for December, 2017

Learn Culinary Techniques & Recipes in Our 2018 Cooking Classes

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Guests of Holistic Holiday at Sea aren’t just vacationing on an elegant cruise ship in the Caribbean. They’re learning more about holistic approaches to nutrition, mindfulness, and fitness. They’re becoming more compassionate stewards of the earth and advocates for animals. They’re getting more in touch with their own bodies and journeys to wellness. And they’re falling in love with plant-based food—for the first or hundredth time!

In addition to lectures, movement classes, and gourmet meals throughout the day, our onboard programming also includes cooking classes. We want our guests to leave with the confidence to cook plant-based recipes at home and share them with friends and family. This year’s schedule of cooking class presenters includes Julieanna Hever, Kim Campbell, Jessica Porter, Sandy Club, and Dunja Gulin.

Back to Basics

While it’s fun to get fancy with recipes, sometimes a new twist or update on the basics is exactly what you’re looking for. Registered dietitian and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, will lead three cooking classes: “Dressings and Sauces to Help You Fall (More) in Love with Vegetables;” “Soup Solution – How to Use Soups as the Key to Successful Healthy Meal Planning;” and “Hummus Should be a Food Group;” plus a boot camp called “Healthy Eating Made Easy”.

Did you know that the minimum recommended number of vegetable servings per day is ten? That may seem like a lot, but it’s easier to get than you may think. Not craving more vegetables? Julieanna says the secret to wanting more vegetables in your diet is all in the sauce. This class will deep-dive into how to make easy, delicious dressings and sauces to use across the culinary spectrum and help inspire you to amp up your love of veggies.

Now in her second year of teaching on the cruise, Kim Campbell is the author of The PlantPure Nation Cookbook and The PlantPure Kitchen. She has developed more than 250 delicious, whole food, plant-based recipes using no processed oils. During our next cruise, Kim will lead two cooking classes. In “Bringing Back Our Favorite Comfort Foods,” Kim demonstrates how to build familiar recipes in a healthy form. She will cook Fishless Fillets and Indian Malai Kofta.

Kim tells us, “Taste preferences are often rooted in our traditions and memories so in order to appeal to these preferences, we should strive to build foods with similar flavors and textures. At the same time, it’s important to use ingredients that are accessible, affordable, and most of all healthy. During this class, I will cover a variety of techniques, ingredients, substitutions, and how they can be used to build very traditional style meals that are family and kid friendly. Included, I will cover gluten-free options and low-fat substitutions. Most importantly, we will share ideas and sample everything we make during the class! The cruise never let’s anyone go hungry.”

Change the Way You Cook

For the 13th consecutive year, the inspiring and funny Jessica Porter will once again combine humor with education as a presenter on Holistic Holiday at Sea. In her cooking class, “Don’t Let Tofu Make You Lose Your Tempeh,” Jessica will go into the benefits of both powerful foods and delicious ways of preparing them.

If you’re a bit confused on soy foods and how to cook with it, this class is for you! “There are two categories of complaints these days,” explains Jessica. “First of all, soy is getting a bad rap, and that topic needs to be thoroughly understood. Not all soy is a problem, and in fact, much of it is incredibly healthy and smart to eat, but we need to understand how quality and quantity affects our health. Is it GMO? Organic? In what form? Fermented? All these things matter.

“The second category of complaint is about cooking; people say that tofu is boring or has no taste. This is simply a matter of understanding the nature of tofu and its versatility and tastelessness need never be a problem. Ditto tempeh and other forms of soy.”

Sandy Clubb, of Cookware Health Clubb Inc., helps people understand the healthy benefits of whole plant nutrition and proper food preparation techniques. In her demonstration, “What’s the Cookware Got to Do with It?” Sandy will use the waterless cooking method (no water, no oil, no oven) to prepare 30-minute lasagna, veggies, and cake. She will review the best tips for cooking methods and cookware we use to prepare our meals.

When recommending cookware to people, Sandy offers this advice:

  • Ask questions and do research. Look behind the label because, after all, your food will touch it, cook in it, and sometimes be stored in it. Should your cookware be the highest quality or the lowest? There is very little regulation on cookware. Find out where it’s made and from what materials and why? After all, it is YOUR dinner.
  • WHAT do you want your cookware to do for you? Save Time? Save Nutrition? Make your food taste better? Save food volume? Be easy to clean and last for decades? To cook without water, without oil? Why, Why, Why? After all, you can cook in a tin can or a hubcap!

Variety is the Spice of Life

Croatian-based cooking teacher and author, Dunja Gulin has been part of the Holistic Holiday at Sea team, working in the kitchen, for the past five years. She describes the experience as “great fun and very rewarding.” Dunja will lead a cooking boot camp called “Falafel Forever,” in which she will go over a number of falafel recipes, including fried, baked, dehydrated, and raw varieties.

When asked about her favorite method of eating falafel, Dunja replied, “I often use a variety of plant-based ingredients to create falafel-like dishes, since we all love falafel, but don’t want to eat the same recipe all the time. In warmer months, I often prepare seed-based raw falafel for my family and my clients. The taste is so rich, there is no frying involved, and they can be prepared days in advance. Fuss-free, nutritionally dense and very practical. All you could ever ask from a recipe!”

Bring your appetite as samples will be available following the boot camp. Dunja says, “I think that’s the main purpose of any cooking event—to enjoy what we created and share a meal in a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere. Participants will be more than welcome to join me in every step of the way. Cooking is very much about practice and getting your hands dirty, and that’s exactly what we will do! I’m really looking forward to the 2018 cruise!”

Plant-Based Cooking Today

Often the best culinary techniques and methods are those that are based in tried-and-true traditions, and helped along by modern advancements.

“Plant-based cooking has become so much easier in the last ten years,” says Kim Campbell. “Mainstream grocery stores are beginning to carry a wider variety of ingredients and there are many great vegan chefs out there sharing their gifts and knowledge around food. Digital photography, videos, and social media make it easy and fun to allure, support, and sustain this lifestyle. When our family began this journey 30 years ago, there wasn’t the internet, beautiful vegan cookbooks, and restaurants offering vegan options. It seemed like everywhere we went there were roadblocks. We made it work and learned a lot along the way, but it’s a different world today and I think it’s much easier to transition to a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. My own parents have made this transition at the age of 83 and they did it overnight! They had a little PlantPure help but I can honestly say they didn’t struggle doing it.”

Whether you love rolling your sleeves up in the kitchen, or you’d rather just eat more healthily, these cooking classes will help expand your knowledge of plant-based nutrition and just how healthy and delicious it can be!

Our 2018 Program Promotes an Active Lifestyle

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Angelica Kushi leads a morning yoga class.

Remember to pack a yoga mat and water bottle—it’s almost time for the 2018 Holistic Holiday at Sea Voyage to Well-being, which runs February 15–25, 2018! Our mission is that every guest on Holistic Holiday at Sea leaves feeling even healthier and happier than when they arrived. To ensure that this happens, we plan a comprehensive health and wellness program with leading experts in the plant-based movement. The schedule includes lectures, fitness and mindfulness classes, cooking demonstrations, and gourmet food prepared by award-winning chefs. We balance sit-down presentations with plenty of opportunities for attendees to get up and participate in movement sessions.

Each year, we bring back favorite classes and introduce new ones into the mix. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more active classes on our upcoming cruise.

Building Muscle

Robert Cheeke leads his Functional Fitness class.

There are many simple exercises and nutrition tips that help vegan athletes achieve their fitness goals. HHAS presenter Robert Cheeke has more than 20 years of experience as a plant-based athlete. He specializes in areas of burning fat and building muscle, while increasing energy and staying fit and active year round.

In his lecture, “Exercise and Nutrition for Energy: Simple Exercises and Nutrition Tips to Keep Your Body Toned and Give You More Energy Year Round,” Robert examines the lack of energy that keeps many people from having the active lifestyle they want and provides solutions in the form of food and exercise. In “Functional Fitness,” Robert teaches attendees how to complete total body exercises for a full body workout without any special equipment. “Functional fitness classes are led in a follow-the-leader style,” says Robert. “I will perform the exercises with you, and you follow my movements. When I jog in place, you jog in place, and when I move to jumping jacks, you move to jumping jacks. You can go at your own pace, as each movement is typically performed for time (30 seconds of this, or one minute of that).”

On the panel Q&A titled “Powered by Plants,” Robert will be joined by fellow vegan athletes Matt Frazier, Angelica Kushi, Dani Taylor, Giacomo Marchese, and “Fitness over Fifty” trainer Larry Krug. Have burning questions about how athletes fuel their bodies on a plant-based diet? Learn from this selection of amazing plant-based athletes who have achieved success in their respective pursuits. Each participant is leading at least one other lecture or class. Click on their presenter pages for more information.

Husband-and-wife duo (or ‘swolemates’ as they call themselves) Giacomo Marchese and Dani Taylor will lead boot camps using resistance bands (buy one on the ship or bring your own), which offer a great portable way to get your muscles pumping. Dani is looking forward to leading a Women’s Boot Camp on her first-ever cruise: “I have taught many fitness classes in my life, but never on a vegan cruise! So I am very excited for this brand new opportunity to connect with other vegan women about becoming strong and fit all while on a beautiful vacation.” Because there are classes for every level, participants need not feel intimidated. Giacomo says, “I like that there are challenges for everyone, no matter how new or practiced they are to each style of training offered on the cruise.”

Pilates, Self Massage & Yoga—Oh My!

A yoga teacher, health and wellness coach, aerial performer, and stunt woman, Angelica Kushi takes a relaxed and integrative approach to health. In addition to multiple vinyasa flow yoga and heart-opening meditation classes, Angelica will also lead a Yoga Dance Party with music by DJ Josh Vincent. Once bodies are stretched, yoga poses will transition into dance moves.

Another return Holistic Holiday at Sea presenter, Alese Jones’ teaching is grounded in more than 25 years of experience in asana practice and ten years in meditation. She will lead an intermediate vinyasa flow yoga and yin/restorative yoga class (all levels), and meditation class (all levels). When asked why it’s important to have offerings for people of all levels, Alese replied, “It is important to include everyone with whatever fitness level they are currently at. What is also important is for the participant to learn to modify poses if needed, no matter what level yoga class they are attending. Yoga requires a deep quality of listening, so learning to modify to one’s needs allows that person to have a level of comfort no matter what class they are attending.”

Attending an all levels class, Alese adds, also cultivates body awareness. “Yoga is not looked at as a ‘fitness’ class. It is a practice encompassing far more than the physical body, and what I love about it is that it’s just you and your mat! If you approach it with honesty and openness, and with consistency, coupled with meditation, then the transformation and true gifts of yoga will happen on their own timing. When it happens is not our business. That’s grace.”

Chandrakant Hiester has sailed with Holistic Holiday at Sea for 14 years, coming aboard with Yogi Desai to lead morning yoga classes and Integrative Relaxation sessions. In 2018, he will lead lectures and classes on yoga and Integration Relaxation (a series of simple techniques that can be done lying on the floor or sitting in a chair).

Chandrakant says his aspirations for this cruise are to offer guests experiences that underscore the importance of what they eat. He adds, “(That is,) how to live in an attunement with the wisdom of the vital life force that not only digests food, but transforms it into a harmonious appropriateness in the experience we call life.”

Movement of all varieties helps reduce stress. Laughter is no exception. Nutritionist and macrobiotic counselor Lino Stanchich, who has been a presenter since year one of the cruise, will lead, “Laugh for the Health of It,” a lecture on the benefits of laughter. During this time, he will teach others how to consciously practice healing laughter throughout the day. He says, “Laughter is not only one of the most fun experiences in life, but also one of the most healthful for heart, circulation, and immunity… Laughter Therapy shows that it is important to laugh daily, whether we find anything “humorous” or not!” In another lecture, Lino will illustrate the benefits of self massage based on powerful healing techniques.

There’s Nothing Like a Good Stretch!

Bianka Steinfeldt (in yellow) leads class.

No matter what you choose to do, starting each day with a solid stretch is key. Bianka Steinfeldt will lead Pilates, Stretch, Natural Movement, Breath, and Reiki Meditation classes. When asked why stretching is important, Bianka replies that it’s in our nature as humans to stretch. After sitting or standing for some time, our bodies crave a good stretch. Additionally, it’s important to stretch to avoid pain in our muscles. When it comes to fitness, most people think of strength and cardiovascular exercises. “But,” says Bianka, “if you want to stay fit, don’t forget to stretch!… Some of us shorten our biceps by just sitting all day in front of a computer. So the function of your arms will be shortened and other muscles have to take over. You may start getting pain in your elbows, shoulders, and so on. Imagine your bicep is a sponge and if it doesn’t get any water, the sponge will dry out and it is easy to break.”

As a preview to her class, “Stretch One by One,” here are some of Bianka’s tips to proper stretching. In order to get the benefits of stretching, it’s important to stretch properly:

  • Warm up. Never stretch a cold muscle; it can result in injury. Instead, warm up with some cardiovascular activity prior to stretching. This will help make your muscles more pliable and conducive to stretching.
  • Breathe. Sometimes we’re inclined to hold our breath when stretching, but this is counterproductive because it results in tightness and resistance. Instead, breathe into a stretch. Breathe slowly and deeply. As you exhale, you may feel yourself naturally sink a little deeper into the stretch.
  • Be gentle. Never force a stretch. Instead, gently ease your way into a stretch and let your body dictate how far you can go. Flexibility will naturally increase over time—forcing a stretch will only result in injury, not increased flexibility.
  • Be consistent. The best way to build flexibility is with a consistent stretching routine. Aim for 3 to 5 days per week. If you commit to a stretching program, you will see results.

Don’t underestimate the value of stretching. It can keep you fit and healthy for years!

Marcus Gary & Maria Johnson leading Qi Gong class.

Marcus Gary and his partners/co-instructors Maria Johnson and Jamila Makini will lead the class, “Looking and Feeling Great at Any Age with 5 Organ Qi Gong.” The Taoists developed a system for cultivating and promoting the free flow of energy in the body through the exercise called Qi Gong. In this class, you’ll learn postures and sounds that purge toxic energies out of the major organ energy stems. Want to go deeper? Check out their private consultations.

“For those that really want to get into this practice, we introduce a Qi Gong lifestyle. It’s more than just an exercise program, but a way of life that incorporates diet, movement, acupressure massage, and meditation to balance our Qi (energy). Why would one want to have balanced Qi? To have a good life.

This will be our third year offering consultations. The process is called Digital Meridian Imaging, which is a short (but accurate) diagnosis of one’s Qi body, pinpointing where imbalances may be causing emotional and physical issues. The client walks away with a customized Qi Gong routine to address the results of their exam.”

A Healthy Body, A Healthy World

Personal trainer and compassionate animal advocate James Aspey went vegetarian a few years ago. He began to understand more about the cruelty of the dairy industries and soon committed to veganism. In addition to protecting animals, James has found it so much easier to maintain a healthy physical appearance than when he ate meat, dairy, and eggs. James will be making his Holistic Holiday at Sea debut, presenting on vegan activism and why he took a 365-day vow of silence for the animals in 2014.

James told us, “Once I learned that we are likely to be healthier and live a longer life without eating animals, I could no longer justify participating in the violence.”

Whether you’re attending the cruise because of your passion for animal advocacy, culinary talents, background in medicine, or interest in the mind-body connection, Holistic Holiday at Sea has something special in store for you. Plant-based living is the way to a healthier, more peaceful world. We look forward to sailing with you!

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