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Archive for March, 2018

2019 Ports Announced—and We’re Traveling to a New Continent!

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We’re still brimming over with joy from last month’s exciting Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise. Traveling across the Caribbean with thousands of like-minded individuals, visiting beautiful and historic towns, dining on delicious plant-based meals together, learning about the movement through lectures and social events—what a rush!

Let’s do it again!

Our 2019 Holistic Holiday at Sea voyage will take place March 3–14, 2019, traveling to a new continent for us—South America! Sailing on the elegant MSC Divina for 11 nights, we will depart from Miami, Florida, and adventure to Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Cartagena, Colombia; Cristobal, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Cozumel, Mexico. You can view the full itinerary here. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the highlights of each stop.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios. (Photo courtesy of MSC Divina)

Our first stop after a day at sea is Ocho Rios, Jamaica, famous for its beaches, music, and shopping. Translating to “eight rivers” in Spanish, Ocho Rios does not disappoint those seeking pristine waters and aquatic adventures. From kayaking and tubing to swimming and sunbathing, there are so many outdoor activities to experience. The Cobaya Garden and Museum is an indoor/outdoor facility that hosts permanent exhibits on the native Arawak Indians and Spanish settlers and features an explosion of tropical plant and animal life (check out the colorful parrots!).

Another must-see is Dunn’s River Falls that empties 200 feet into the Caribbean Sea. While climbing the natural steps (about 650 feet) of the waterfalls can take about an hour to an hour-and-a-half and includes getting wet, stairs to the side can assist visitors who want to stay dry and avoid the uneven terrain of the waterfall.

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia. (Photo courtesy of MSC Divina)

One of Latin America’s most photogenic cities, the fishing village of Cartagena, Colombia, was founded in 1533 as a Spanish port and is steeped in history. Feast your eyes on Spanish-Colonial architecture in the Old Town, surrounded by high stone walls. Juxtaposing old and new, Bocagrande shows off a modern skyline with cocktail and music lounges and open-air bars.

Named in honor of Philip IV of Spain, Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas is the city’s largest fortress, built to fend off pillagers. Its construction began in 1536 and it is located on the Hill of San Lázaro. Well preserved today, the castle is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Colombian government has used it as a location for social and cultural events in honor of foreign delegations.

Nature lovers are encouraged to take a Mangroves Ecological Tour where they’ll discover a range of birds, including the Kingfisher, White Heron, Pink Spatula, and Pelicans, among others.

Cristóbal, Panama

Cristobal, Panama (Photo courtesy of MSC Divina)

For such a small country, Panama packs a lot of adventure. Its size means that the majority of its sights are easily accessible. From Cristóbal, visit the impressive Gatún Lake, which was the largest manmade lake in the world in the early 20th century, created from a dam in the Chagres River. If you choose to take a boat on the lake, don’t be surprised if you see crocodiles, sloths, or various monkey species around. There’s wildlife wherever you look.

The Lake is at the heart of the Panama Canal, the 48-mile passage built between 1903 and 1914 as a link between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts for the shipping of goods. This area is home to more than a hundred species each of mammals and reptiles. You may see a colorful toucan, eagle, or any of 500 types of birds.

Cristóbal has a varied landscape and Panama has an even greater density of plant biodiversity than Amazonia! Don’t forget your camera!

Puerto Limón, Costa Rica

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica .(Photo courtesy of MSC Divina)

The cultural hub of Limon, Puerto Limón, is Costa Rica’s capital city and home to several museums and attractions, including Parque Vargas, a palm-lined seaside park. Look carefully for two-toed sloths in the trees! Can’t spot them? Head over to the Sloth Sanctuary, sitting on a tiny island at the mouth of the Río Estrella. This is an important rehabilitation and research center for injured and orphaned sloth. There’s also an observation platform for bird watching—and for spider monkeys!

Sail along the Tortugeuro Canal, known as “Costa Rica’s Amazon,” and see colorful wooden houses on stilts. An experienced tour guide can point out some of the wildlife that an untrained eye may miss! The 3,400-acre Veragua Rainforest is a “research and adventure park.” National Geographic Traveler called it “The Cream of the Cream of the Rainforest.”

Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya, Mexico (Photo courtesy of MSC Divina)

Mayan temples and pyramids await you in Costa Maya, where architecture dates back to 100 AD. While the Mayans were not the first civilization in the region, they left the greatest impact—these villages.

The three main ruins that aren’t too far from the port are Chacchoben, Kohunlich, and Dzibanche. The first human settlements in the Chacchoben area date back to around 1000 BC. By 360 AD, it had been established as the most prestigious ceremonial center. Containing about 200 mounds, Kohunlick covers about 21 acres and was once a regional center where people stopped along trade routes. Once a major Mayan city and the capital of the Kan dynasty, Dzibanche was a large city with several templates and pyramids, such as the Cormoranes Pyramid and K’inich Na’ Pyramid (meaning “House of the Sun God”).

Soak up the sun on one of the soft sand beaches or rent a jet-ski along the seafront promenade, a miniature version of Playa del Carmen. Save some shopping for the center of this port where you can buy jewelry and souvenir items.

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel, Mexico. (Photo courtesy of MSC Divina)

The bright blue waters of Cozumel are breathtaking. The inland blocks of San Miguel hold Mayan ruins and birds. Rent a moped and traverse the perimeter of the island, stopping for some fresh guacamole along the way.

Xcaret is a theme park with a museum, tropical aquarium, Maya village, beach, ruins, pools, and rivers down which you can swim, snorkel, or float. Nearby Xplor has outdoor adventure, including ziplines and a hammock splash (where zipline meets hammock meets cool waters)

Book Now for the Best Deal

While there’s enough onboard to keep you active or relaxed, six ports of call each offer their own unique attractions and activities. We are super excited to add South America ports this year. The super early bird rate ends on April 27. Don’t delay—save your spot today!

Crown Maple Infusions, Recipes & Spring Giveaway!

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The Crown Maple Estate (Photos courtesy of Crown Maple)

Win free syrup: Details below!

When choosing which ingredient can enhance the flavors of your rich dessert, saucy appetizer, or savory main course, reach for a bottle of maple syrup in lieu of conventional sugar or alternative sweeteners. Your body (and taste buds) will thank you—and the environment will, too! Naturally vegan, kosher, sustainable, paleo, gluten-free, earth-friendly, and nutritious Crown Maple’s maple syrup and maple sugar are the best that nature has to offer.

If you were a guest on a recent Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise, you’ve likely enjoyed the delicious taste of Crown Maple products onboard. Many people agree that breakfast is the most important meal. In this post, we share a couple simple recipes for granola and oats to ensure you start your day off right.

We’re also giving one lucky HHAS fan the chance to win a trio of syrups. Keep reading for how to win!

Pure & Simple

Founded in 2010 by Robb and Lydia Turner, Crown Maple has set a new standard for organic maple syrup in terms of purity and quality, from bark to bottle. The Crown Maple Estate in New York’s Hudson Valley is home to the production and bottling of about 60,000 gallons of syrup each year. The maple syrup and sugar comes from forests comprising the Taconic Hardwood Forest, a unique territory extending from the New York eastern mid-Hudson Valley to central western Vermont.

Not just a sweetener, maple syrup is super versatile in the kitchen:

  • Use as a finishing ingredient
  • Topping, baking, saucing, and basting
  • Elevates & enriches savory flavors
  • Enhances depth of sweetness, and caramelization
  • Key focus on usage in coffee and tea and as topping for (vegan!) yogurt and oatmeal

It’s also a superfood sweetener! This year, Crown Maple is rolling out an Apple Cider Maple Vinegar, which has all the benefits of regular apple cider vinegar with the tantalizing sweet taste of maple. Learn more about Maple Crown’s harvesting techniques and snag a recipe for a vegan maple-roasted brussels, shallots, and farro salad by reading our post about Crown Maple from last August.

Easy Vegan Granola Recipe from Crown Maple

This easy vegan granola is a delicious and versatile base. Add your favorite dried fruits and nuts and you have a healthful and crunchy snack or topping.

Prep: 10 minutes

Total time: 1.5 hours

Servings: 10 cups

Ingredients

2 c Crown Maple Very Dark Color and Strong Taste Syrup

7 c Rolled Oats

1/2 c Flax Meal

1/4 c Chia Seeds

8 oz Coconut Oil

1/2 tsp Salt

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats, flax meal, and chia seeds.
  4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the syrup, salt, and coconut oil until combined.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
  6. Divide between the two baking sheets and spread out.
  7. Bake 45 minutes, then stir and rotate pans.
  8. Bake another 45 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Crown Maple Coconut Cream Pie Overnight Oats

A delicious maple coconut combination you will eat right up! This overnight oats recipe combines the tropical flavor of coconut with a hint of maple sweetness. Sneak in some superfoods like chia seeds for some added brain fuel and you won’t even know. You will for sure start your day off on the right foot feeling nourished. We recommend using our Crown Maple Madagascar Vanilla Infused syrup for a soft added flavor.

We thank Lorie from the blog Lemons + Zest (formerly Be Whole Be You) for the delicious maple coconut breakfast combination.

Ingredients:

2 c Crown Maple Very Dark Color and Strong Taste Syrup

7 c Rolled Oats

1/2 c Flax Meal

1/4 c Chia Seeds

8 oz Coconut Oil

1/2 tsp Salt

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats, flax meal, and chia seeds.
  4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the syrup, salt, and coconut oil until combined.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
  6. Divide between the two baking sheets and spread out.
  7. Bake 45 minutes, then stir and rotate pans.
  8. Bake another 45 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Enter for Your Chance to Win

We’re doing a special spring giveaway of Crown Maple’s Royal Treatment box that includes Amber Color Rich Taste, Bourbon Barrel, and Madagascar Vanilla. That’s right—it’s three prizes in one! Three runners-up will receive one 10 oz bag of Crown Maple Sugar!

When it comes to infusions, the makers are rather simple in their approach. “We split a organic Madagascar Vanilla bean and place it in the bottle and then fill it with very hot Dark Color syrup,” says Mike Cobb, CEO of Maple Crown. “The vanilla is infused in the bottle and the bean can be reused after the syrup is gone. For bourbon, we age the Dark Color syrup in a barrel and the flavors of the bourbon are infused from the oak.”

The sweepstakes starts on Monday, March 19. We will be choosing grand prize and runner-up winners on Tuesday, March 27. Click here to enter through Facebook!

Can’t wait? Didn’t win? Use the code HOLISTIC20 for a 20% discount on your order at crownmaple.com (good through June 2018). Cook and bake using ingredients that are good for the planet, your body, and your senses. With Crown Maple products, the sky’s the limit!

7 Inspirational People in the Plant-Based Movement—And Who Inspires Them!

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It’s always amazing (but not surprising!) what a week or ten days can do to transform someone’s life for the better. Since we launched Holistic Holiday at Sea in 2004, guests have expanded their knowledge about holistic nutrition, fitness, animal advocacy, and culinary arts by learning from the world’s leading experts. Onboard, there’s a special combination of education, vacation, and relationship building. It’s a recipe for growing minds, putting a smiles on faces, and guiding everyone on the path to wellness.

Year after year, our engaging presenters feed curiosity and open hearts. From physicians and nutritionists to animal welfare activists and movement coaches, these experts are making huge strides in the plant-based movement. They’re definitely our heroes! We wanted to know—who are theirs?!

Who is your biggest hero (living or deceased) in the vegan/plant-based movement?

Robert Cheeke says:

Robert Cheeke & Rip Esselstyn

Robert Cheeke & Rip Esselstyn (Photo courtesy of @robert.cheeke)

Determining my biggest hero is tough because so many people have played important roles in my life. In the vegan movement, I would have to say that Howard Lyman (Mad Cowboy) is up there near the top, along with my older sister, Tanya, who first encouraged me to adopt a vegan lifestyle. In the athletic world, Brendan Brazier has long been a role model for me. He helped me in myriad ways in sports and in business, being one of the people I look up to greatly. In the areas of health and wellness, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., Dr. Michael Greger, and Rip Esselstyn are heroes of mine. I am so grateful and so fortunate to have such wonderful role models.

Dr. Michael Greger says:

Dr. Greger and his grandmother (Photo courtesy of NutritionFacts.org)

Dr. Greger and his grandmother (Photo courtesy of NutritionFacts.org)

Nathan Pritikin, as per my grandmother’s story that I talk about in the preface to How Not to Die. [Watch this 3-minute video on Dr. Greger’s grandmother and the work of Pritikin, one of our early lifestyle medicine pioneers.] Pictured here is Dr. Greger and his grandmother.

Angelica Kushi says:

Michio and Aveline Kushi

Michio and Aveline Kushi

My biggest heroes are my grandparents (as cheesy as that sounds) Michio and Aveline Kushi. They were ambitious, loving and caring. They came from Japan in the late ’40s and early ’50s to teach about macrobiotics. They were whole foods and plant-based long before it was even the slightest bit accepted. They coined the term “natural foods” and helped thousands if not millions of people create health in their lives. They taught about the link between food and our kindness to the entire planet.

These two quotes by Michio Kushi, sum it up:

“Peace begins in the kitchens and pantries, gardens and backyards, where our food is grown and prepared. The energies of nature and the infinite universe are absorbed through the foods we eat and are transmuted into our thoughts and actions.” -Michio Kushi

“We all have come from infinity, We all live within infinity. We all shall return to infinity. We are all manifestation of one infinity. We are all brothers and sisters of one infinite universe. Let us love each other. Let us help each other. Let us encourage each other. Let us all together continue to realize the endless dream of one peaceful world. We are always ONE forever.” -Michio Kushi

Jessica Porter says:

Christina Pirello

Christina Pirello

I’m a big fan of Christina Pirello… We have been friends for over 20 years, but I also have a fangirl admiration for her knowledge and skills. As a fellow funny redhead, she feels like a sister to me, but I don’t think I’ll ever reach her capacity in the cooking department. Go, Christina!

Dr. Michael Klaper says:

Dr. Albert Schweitzer (Source: Dutch National Archives)

Dr. Albert Schweitzer (Source: Dutch National Archives)

My greatest hero is Dr. Albert Schweitzer – a name all but unknown to today’s young people. Dr. Schweitzer was a physician who unselfishly cared for the people of Gabon at his clinic at Lambarene, and who embodied the principle of “ahimsa,” or reverence for all of life in everything that he did. Even insects and snakes were held in sacred regard by the Good Doctor, as he knew each was a fellow inhabitant of this amazing world, to be treated with reverence, wonder, and respect. His diet, as were all of his actions, was based upon the non-causation of suffering – so, of course, it was plant-based. To me, Dr. Schweitzer personified the best in humanity and in medicine – and his example sets the standard toward which I strive each day.

Christina Pirello says:

Dr. Neal Barnard

My biggest heros are Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, but in our living world, I would have to go with Dr. Neal Barnard for his tireless work.

Dr. Neal Barnard says:

Dr. Dean Ornish (Photo by Christopher Michel)

Dr. Dean Ornish (Photo by Christopher Michel)

Dean Ornish, Ben Spock, Denis Burkitt, and David Jenkins.

Meet Your Heroes!

HHAS Guest Michael & Dr. Michael Greger (Photo by @vegannboss)

HHAS Guest Michael & Dr. Michael Greger (Photo by @vegannboss)

We love it when attendees return home inspired, excited, and enriched! Year after year, it feels like we’re one big family sailing to beautiful ports around the Caribbean. Join the fun in 2019! Now is the best time to book. The super early bird rate ends on April 27!

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