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Olympian Kendrick Farris & His Vegan Lifestyle

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Kendrick Farris at Olympics

(Photo courtesy of Kendrick Farris)

UPDATE 12/2/16: Due to his competition schedule, Kendrick will be unable to attend the 2017 Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise. 

Adopting a vegan diet can have a profound impact on your mind and body. And if you’re active in sports or physical activities, that change can make a huge difference to your level of performance. Athletes who exclusively eat plant-based meals report that they think more clearly and truly see an improvement in their abilities. Over the years, Holistic Holiday at Sea has welcomed many athletes and bodybuilders to our special lineup of panelists and presenters. For the 2017 Holistic Holiday at Sea, March 11–18, we are excited to announce that three-time Olympian Kendrick Farris will be joining us.

Weightlifting Since Age 11

Growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana, Kendrick (now 30) began weightlifting at age 11 and competing at age 12. He says he got serious about it during his senior year of high school.

After earning national titles in 2006 and 2007, Kendrick went on to take home first place titles in 2010 and 2016 Pan-American Championships. He also won first in the 2015 Pan-American Games. He placed 8th in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and 10th in the 2008 Summer Olympics in London. Most recently, Kendrick competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics as the only male weightlifter on the US team.

While vegan weightlifters often make headlines for this seemingly surprising combination, the two lifestyles are actually very complementary. For Kendrick, going vegan wasn’t a tough decision to make.

Veganism Helps Promote a Healthier, Longer Life

In 2014, shortly after his second son Kingsley was born, Kendrick decided to go vegan. He shares, “My son’s birth gave me a new perspective on life. I wanted to make sure I was around to see him grow up, get married, have kids, etc. and the vegan lifestyle was the healthiest thing I could do for my body.”

Since then, Kendrick says, “I just feel better overall—spiritually, physically, and mentally.” Kendrick doesn’t adhere to a super strict diet or overthink it. “I just eat what I want. I am not one that counts calories and I am not extremely strict. I eat when I’m hungry, because meals are used for fuel for the body. I just make sure I know all the ingredients in the food I buy or ask questions if I am out to eat.”

Homemade Goodness

His wife Katrina cooks vegan meals at home every day. She says, “I don’t use vegan cookbooks necessarily. I mostly find vegetarian recipes from some of my favorite blogs and/or use family recipes and tweak them so they are vegan. For example, I would substitute bananas for butter called for in a baking recipe or plant-based cheese when cheese is called for.” Katrina’s favorite recipe of avocado quesadillas is coincidentally Kendrick’s favorite dish as well.

With food as his fuel, Kendrick spends 3–5 hours on his workout routine daily. On a typical day, Kendrick says his schedule is to wake up, pray, eat breakfast, take his son to school, go outside, read and meditate, workout, pick up his son, share dinner with his family, spend time with them after dinner, pray, and then go to bed.

When asked about what’s next, Kendrick says he wants to take care of his family. “I’m not sure where my journey will take me next, maybe to my 4th Olympic team and maybe another route. I’m not sure. Right now I’m just enjoying and making up for lost time with my friends and family. I will begin competing again in 2017 as this is the off-season for us right now, and I do not have any competitions scheduled.”

UPDATE 12/2/16: Due to his competition schedule, Kendrick will be unable to attend the 2017 Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise. 

Meet the Bad Ass Vegan: John Lewis


Yaaay! We are so pumped for you to learn more about our second Special Guest for the cruise. We have the pleasure of welcoming a member of the vegan body building community.  John “Bad Ass Vegan” Lewis comes to us from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, but is originally from Missouri, the “show me state.”  As a nationally certified fitness trainer, John Lewis has spent more than 8 years in the health and fitness industry and played Division I College basketball. John is decidedly passionate not only about his own health and fitness, but that of others as well.

In addition to his extensive knowledge in body sculpting and contouring, what makes John one of the top national fitness trainers is his creative ability to understand and live a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle while maintaining a highly commendable physique.  In essence, he is able to cater to a diverse group of individuals, masterfully creating and developing personalized, unique and healthy nutrition plans. Thus, his services are highly sought after.

Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to become a vegan?

I would have to say my most pivotal moment was when my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer.  I remember asking the doctors how do you get cancer or how did she get it? The doctor said too much animal protein contributed to this disease. So once I saw that it …I decided to choose the plant-based/vegan route.

What changes have you noticed in your body since you made the switch?

I have noticed that I have been able to train much harder in the gym and not have the fatigue and lack of energy that I had when I was consuming animal-based products. I can honestly train for hours and hours. The next day I have little to no fatigue or little to no pain and I am able to train just as hard as the day before. I have also noticed a rise in my mental clarity that may have not been there before.  I would have to say I am the king of multitasking and actually getting everything done without losing track. I have also noticed that my digestive system is working much better.


What made you decide to go into bodybuilding?

My college career in basketball presented a need to stay in excellent shape because I always wanted to perform at my best on the court. Bodybuilding really came about because I just wanted to take it to the next level and challenge my body even more. I feel as if we should always challenge ourselves and never get too comfortable.  It’s okay to enjoy the moment but always look at how you can improve your life.

Do you have any specific goals for your future as a vegan athlete?

Right now I would have to say that my main goal as a vegan athlete is to show the world that you can be vegan and be powerful and strong, and push your body to the limits without any hesitation. There are so many people that are curious about the vegan lifestyle and culture; I want to make sure that they can see that they can accomplish great things with a vegan diet, no matter what your dietary background has been.  At one time in my life, I used to weigh 315 pounds, and, yes, that’s when I was eating poorly.  I want people to know about my past weight because I want them to know that they can take hold of their lives. People should understand that what we decide to eat is a choice.  We choose what to ingest.  Anyone can take control of their life, and anyone can take control of their health.  The choice is up to us to decide to live better or decide to live worse.

What is your favorite vegan desert?

I know this may sound biased but I can honestly say that the badass Power cookie is my favorite dessert/go to item. I am sort of a cookie monster so if I can have a good cookie then I am going to be happy! My Badass Power Cookie is not necessarily a desert, but it does have a lot of vital nutrients that can sustain a bodybuilder or somebody that’s just looking to stay in shape. The main ingredient in the cookie is Spirulina, but it also has the amino acids and proteins that help the body recover and also build muscle density.

Spotlight on 2014 Presenter Bryant Terry

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Interview  by Bianca Philips  ‘aka’  Crunk Master B of Vegan Crunk

I’ve only been on one cruise in my life with my parents and I took a cruise ship to Mexico a few years back. However, I’m sure I would just die of happiness if I could go on the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise in March. It’s an ALL-VEGAN cruise with cooking demos by vegan celebrity chefs and lectures by the health guru greats.

This year’s cruise features Bryant Terry (the original crunk vegan!), T. Colin Campbell, Neal Bernard, Robert Cheeke, Chef AJ, Rich Roll, and so many more. From March 1st-8th, cruisers can listen to health talks, do yoga, and most importantly stuff themselves with delicious, healthy vegan food. And there are stops in San Maarten, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas. This is my dream vacation, y’all!

Out of all the presenters, I’d definitely be the most excited to see Bryant Terry.

Photo credit: Paige Greene

He’s a fellow Memphian (though he doesn’t live here anymore), and he’s been cooking up soul dishes for years. On the cruise, he’ll be cooking up some dishes from his new book, Afro-Vegan: Farm Fresh, African, Caribbean, & Southern Flavors Remixed.

I have an advance copy of his book (it hits shelves April 8th), and I’ll do a full review soon. But lemme tell ya: Like all of Bryant’s books, this one is jam-packed with awesome — Lemongrass Boiled Peanuts, Pumpkin-Peanut Fritters, Curried Corn and Coconut Rice, Fresh Corn Grits with Swiss Chard and Cherry Tomatoes. Yum!

Anyway, Bryant took a few minutes to dish about his new book and what he’ll be doing on the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise.

Me: You have a new book, Afro-Vegan, coming out soon. Tell me a little about it.

Bryant: I’m really excited about Afro-Vegan. I feel like all my previous books were preparing me to write this one. I have a new publisher (Ten Speed Press), and this will be my first full-color, hardback book with lots of photos. A large part of my mission in writing Afro-Vegan is to put the ingredients, flavor profiles, and classic dishes of the African Diaspora into wider circulation. I know that folks are yearning for a vegan cookbook that is different than anything else out there, and this is it. Of course there is the political aspect of this book, similar to my others. Cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz said, “If A People’s History of the United States andJoy of Cooking had a baby, Afro-Vegan would be it!” That’s about right. Most important, though, the food is yummy.

And that’s your fourth book, right?

Yep. My third book of which I am the lone author. My first book was co-authored with my friend Anna Lappe.

How has your Southern upbringing affected your style of cooking? 

My family owned farms in rural Mississippi and kept gardens in Memphis where I’m from, so I always had the tastiest local food that was grown, raised, and cooked by people I love. That’s what my cooking is all about, feeding my diverse group of family, friends, and fans vibrant and yummy plant-centered food that reflects my values around health, sustainability, compassion, and community building.

You seem to have a focus on using simple, fresh ingredients to create gourmet dishes, but soul food doesn’t always often tend to be very gourmet. What inspired you to take soul food and step it up a notch?

I don’t know if my cooking is gourmet; compared to many of my chef friends, I think that I cook like someone’s grandmother. But my grandmother used garden-fresh ingredients to make simple dishes, and they were always delicious and satisfying. That is what I strive to do with my recipes. When people talk about “soul food,” they are most often describing the comfort foods of African-American cuisine. My mission is to move people beyond soul food and help them discover the diversity and complexity of my ancestors’ food.

How did you get involved with Holistic Holiday at Sea? Is this your first time presenting on that cruise?

This is my second time teaching classes on the cruise. The first time I presented was in 2010. The organizers knew about my work and wanted me to bring my voice to the program. I had a ball. The food is AMAZING, the people are great, and it is a very rejuvenating working vacation for me.

Any idea what you’ll be making yet?

Tofu Curry with Mustard Greens; Sweet Potato and Lima Bean Tagine; Slow-Braised Greens; and Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad – all recipes from Afro-Vegan. 

What are you most looking forward to with the cruise?
Spending time on the ocean with my wife, exercising everyday, and eating.

Any other presenters that you’re dying to see?

I am excited to take a Qi Gong class with Marcus Gary!

What do you hope cruise-goers take away from your presentation?

I really hope that my presentations further extends farm-fresh, compassionate food to include foods of the African diaspora.

We are excited to have Bryant returning to the cruise this year and look forward to the amazing food he will be preparing and finding out more about “Afro Vegan”. Join us in March 2014 for our 11th voyage of this vegan extravaganza in the Caribbean! Bring someone who is interested in a great time, an opportunity to grow and a unique vegan travel experience where you can be around like minded compassionate folks! This is a traveling experience like no other.

Food For Thought: Advantages of Macro and Vegan Diets

Ponder This

It certainly goes without saying that the typical Western diet could use an upgrade. A diet heavy in meat, dairy products, eggs, and various highly fatty, preserved and processed foods can be linked to high cholesterol and a host of health problems and concerns. But what are the alternatives?

The famous author and activist Michael Pollan put it simply:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

That’s good, sound advice, but what do plant-based diets offer in terms of health and wellness? As it turns out, a lot! Let’s take a look at two popular plant-based diets you may be interested in trying, or exploring further, with a roundup of some of the amazing health benefits for each.

Maximizing Your Health with Macrobiotics

macro diet

The word “macrobiotic” is derived from the Greek “macro” meaning “long,” and “bio” meaning life. The macrobiotic diet has shown itself to be a possible treatment, and even a cure, for a host of medical illnesses, possibly even cancer. It’s worth noting that this dietary lifestyle, which is by and large high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, and low in fat, is similar to the diet recommended by the American Cancer Society. The macrobiotic approach and philosophy seeks to balance your perspective on food, nutrition and healing.

The Basics

• Organic food is vital in macrobiotics, and organically grown food decreases pesticide exposure, which is associated with cancer and infertility. Also, low fat, high fiber food helps lower the risk diabetes, as well as colorectal, ovarian, and prostate cancer.

• Wholegrain cereals and flour are rich with vitamin B. A diet rich in whole grains decreases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. A wholegrain diet also helps maintain healthy bowel functions and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria.

• Consuming algae regularly improves overall health. Algae is nutrient-rich and dense in minerals, vitamins, proteins, amino acids, chlorophyll, and fiber. The iron, calcium, and magnesium in algae helps maintain strong bones and a healthy blood system. It also helps reduce anxiety and sleep disorders.

• Nuts help lower the risk of heart disease. Nuts are rich with fiber, omega 3, vitamin E, and selenium, and also contain many antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help boost the immune system. Omega 3 essential fatty acids,also known as “good fats,” helps lower LDL—low density lipoproteins—or “bad” cholesterol.

Vegging-Out with Veganism

avocado vegan plate

Partaking in a vegan diet lowers the risks of high cholesterol and blood pressure and has been shown to prevent a variety of diseases, some of which include colon, breast and prostate cancer, macular degeneration, cataracts, arthritis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. It’s also been noted that a vegan diet can assist in weight loss, heighten energy levels, promote healthier skin, hair and nails, and offer relief from migraines and allergies— even reduce body odor and bad breath!

Take a peek at just a few of the benefits from an all-vegan diet:

• Potassium balances water and acidity in your body and stimulates the kidneys to eliminate toxins. Diets high in potassium have shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. There are a lots of yummy fruits and vegetables high in potassium such as dried apricots, figs and coconut, avocados, spinach, mushrooms and sweet potatoes.

• Many researchers believe that antioxidants help protect your body against forming some types of cancer. When we are eating kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, alfalfa sprouts and onions we are increasing the anti- oxidants in our bloodstream.

• A diet high in grains, nuts, and dark leafy greens is full of Vitamin E. New research shows Vitamin E can fight Alzheimer’s disease, and that Vitamin E levels can diagnose Alzheimer’s. You must get enough of this important vitamin to prevent the illness. New exciting research shows that it’s possible to prevent Alzheimer’s with Vitamin E. The more Vitamin E you have in your blood, the better. Your Vitamin E levels will predict if you will get Alzheimer’s.

• Plant-based foods provide phytochemicals, which help to prevent and heal the body from cancer, boost protective enzymes, and work with antioxidants in the body.

Choices, Choices, Choices…

Both of these dietary lifestyles offer their own intrinsically unique advantages and guidelines. Identifying your body’s specific needs first should act as a compass in guiding your dietary decisions. As always, it’s best to gather the opinions of trusted health professionals before embarking on your veggie voyage to improved health.

Holistic Holiday at Sea is more than a great vegan travel experience, it’s an opportunity to stay healthy while enjoying an incredible vacation! Join us in 2014 for our 11th tasty voyage!

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Indulge in Your Taste for Travel – Vegan Style!

Good Looking Vegetables

In spite of the progress being made these days, there are still quite a few challenges that vegans face while traveling. While trekking from town to town and dining out along the way, sometimes you’ll find that you’re the only vegan in the group. Often times the only available vegan options are sadly underwhelming, and eventually you begin to wonder if people even know what a healthy head of lettuce looks like!

While not every city on this big, beautiful globe of ours can brag a culture that’s up-to-snuff on the riches of a plant-based diet, there is a way for vegans and non-vegans alike to peruse the world together and enjoy dazzling entertainment, savor world-class vegan fare and receive the remarkable opportunity to learn about the rewards of going all-veggie from the world’s leading health authorities. Allow us to give you a little nudge in the right direction: We’ve created an all-vegan floating city of our very own!

Ahh…Plant-Based Paradise

Cruise Photos 3MP-201

A truly one of a kind avenue for vegan travel, Holistic Holiday at Sea is an island of friends that fosters a supportive community of open-minded and welcoming individuals who are zealous for healthy, happy living. Voyage across the shimmering Caribbean Sea to exotic destinations, and sink into luxury. With full relaxation and pampering of your mind, body and soul, you’ll soak up the sun, the sights, and plenty of inspiration to help you live your best life through natural health. Choose from a host of educational lectures, workshops, and private consultations by leading natural health authorities on board, to inspire your journey—at sea, and at home.

At Holistic Holiday at Sea, you can revel in all of this and more while:

  • Dining on personally prepared all-natural, energizing vegan and macrobiotic food


  • Lounging in saunas and sunbathing poolside


  • Awakening your mind and body through daily guided yoga, meditation and integrative relaxation classes


  • Strengthening your physique through a variety of thoughtfully instructed fitness classes at the beautiful on board fitness center


  • Expanding your palate and culinary repertoire thanks to inspirational, instructional and interactive cooking classes


  • Opening your eyes to the bountiful benefits of plant-based living through mind-blowing lectures, seminars, and panels hosted by world-renowned doctors, authors, scientists, athletes, and chefs


  • Enjoying nightly concerts, parties, and vegan social events where you’ll make new friendships for life


  • Exploring exciting ports of call in beautiful Philipsburg, St. Maarten, historic San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the private island paradise of Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.


Take the Plunge with Us in 2014!

Cruise Photos 3MP-5

Holistic Holiday at Sea offers a truly unique opportunity to experience a plant-based paradise on the trip of a lifetime. Not a vegan or a macrobiotic life-styler, or worried that your meat-loving partner will be looking for a lifeboat? Well fear not, carnivorous comrades! Non-vegans will enjoy the exquisitely prepared food just as much as their vegan counterparts, and will delight in the rich and varied flavors of the fresh, plant-based bounty. Having witnessed a fun, wide-open, and enticing new approach to food and healthy living, we’ve received numerous testimonies about family members adopting a healthier diet back home, and, in many cases, investing themselves fully in a plant-based lifestyle. “A tree is known by its fruit,” a cause is known by the effect.  While attending our annual sea-faring festival of vegan travel, non-vegans can witness the brilliant benefits of a plant-based diet while better understanding the scientific repercussions of eating animal products. Come reap the rewards of plant-based nutrition with us in 2014 as we continue to help change lives and hearts for the better!


Holistic Holiday at Sea is more than a great vegan travel experience, it’s an opportunity to stay healthy while enjoying an incredible vacation! Join us in 2014 for our 11th tasty all-veggie voyage!


Does a Plant-Based Diet Leave Your Body Deserted of Nutrients?

Myths, Misunderstandings & Miscommunications

The words “vegan,” “macrobiotic” and even “vegetarian” can sometimes carry a negative connotation such as diets lacking in real sustenance, deprived of nutrition and dispossessed of any real value. However, these fears are generated more from the concerns of a misled public and not from the decisions of well-educated individuals serious about health.

Continuously faced with questions like “But where do you get your protein from,” vegetarians and vegans alike can experience frustration.  The dominating confusion surrounding protein and its function in our diet is extremely common, despite the fact that these amino acids can be found and eaten almost ubiquitously (most amply in lentils, beans and quinoa.)  In fact, many researchers posit that too much protein is actually harmful for your body, a rarely discussed perspective in Western culture.

American society is slowly making strides toward understanding, accepting and accommodating plant-based diets, but there’s still a lot of hubbub around the vegan/macro grub. While many of us are informed and passionate about dietary nutrition, it never hurts to regroup and ground ourselves with up to date research.   Simply following a plant-based diet does not necessarily mean that you are eating healthy. The challenges of finding nutrient-rich food options may lead us to rely more heavily on carbs or processed foods to sustain and fill us.  Other times we may unknowingly eat foods which are normally healthy, yet were unfortunately grown, harvested or produced in an unwholesome manner. As Lily McCann pens in KwikMed.org’s article ‘Avoiding Common Vegetarian and Vegan Dietary Deficiencies’:

“In essence, all vitamins and minerals necessary for the human body to be healthy and vibrant can be found from natural, non-animal sources; however certain nutrients are more difficult to source due to the production methods of modern food.

The best way to avoid encountering dietary deficiencies when eating a vegetarian or vegan diet is to consume an abundant amount of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and nuts. Eating a balanced and varied diet consisting of foods which are naturally abundant in vitamins and minerals will give your body a high level of nutrition.”


The Dirt on Dietary Deficiencies

Are you absolutely positive you’re not nutritionally deficient? Thanks to KwikMed.org, here’s a brief rundown on commonly lacking, yet highly necessary nutrients in plant-based diets and all food regimens –

  • Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is one of the most common deficiencies that can occur from eating a vegan or vegetarian diet. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in rich, non-depleted soil, and consequently it is absorbed into the food chain when animals eat the grass etc.

The best way to avoid a vitamin B12 deficiency is by taking whole food supplements that have been tested for safety and efficacy.

  • Zinc

Zinc is a vital mineral for the immune system, neurological system, and skin. A Zinc deficiency is linked to numerous health conditions as the immune system is not able to function correctly and consequently cannot fight off infection as it should.

Zinc can be found in a whole host of natural plant based foods, and adapting your diet to include many more of these foods will certainly assist in raising zinc levels. Nuts, whole grains, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lentils, swiss chard, beans, tahini and tofu all contain high amounts of zinc.

  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids

There is often a large amount of confusion surrounding omega 3 fatty acids. In fact, a considerable number of people, vegetarian or not, are deficient in these vital nutrients. Omega 3 fatty acids play a key role in the nervous system, fighting infection and inflammation. They also help to lower blood pressure, treat depression, and prevent heart disease.

Flax seeds are considered to be one of the best sources of omega 3 in a vegetarian diet, containing many other fantastic health benefits as well. Walnuts are another great source of omega 3 fatty acids that can be added into your diet to keep omega 3’s at a healthy level.

  • Iron

Iron is essential for a healthy body as it is an integral part of hemoglobin, which helps transport oxygen around the body. Vegetarians and vegans need to be especially careful to ensure that they are consuming an iron rich diet. As well as monitoring iron intake, it is important to ensure that you are getting enough vitamin C in the diet, as this aids the body to absorb and use iron effectively.

There are an abundance of plant-based sources of iron, including lentils, tofu, potatoes, beans, spinach, kale, quinoa, green beans, oats and many other plant-based sources.

  • Calcium

There are an abundance of excellent plant-based sources of calcium available, though many people are simply not eating enough of them on a regular basis to ensure an adequate calcium intake.

Some of the calcium rich plant-based food sources include soybeans, broccoli, bok choy, grains, rice milk, tahini, beans, almonds, okra, mustard greens, and tempeh to name just a few.

Taste of Health Holistic Holiday at Sea is more than a great vegan travel experience, it’s an opportunity to travel and stay healthy while pampering AND educating yourself with current events and trends in the vegan world. On our holistic cruise you will have the opportunity to eat divine meals, make new friends and engage with some of the most celebrated personalities of the Vegan Industry.  2013 will mark the 10 year Anniversary of the Holistic Holiday @ Sea and there will be lots of socials, great classes, amazing Caribbean ports and even a few surprises. Learning a new way of living has never been so much fun, so easy and so tasty!

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We’re Thankful That It’s Finally Thanksgiving!

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 ‘Tis the Season for All Things Tasty – So, Toss that Turkey!

While the Thanksgiving holiday can prove a bit tricky for those of us adhering to a vegan or macrobiotic lifestyle, especially for newcomers, there’s a cornucopia of ways to squash your worries and have your taste buds sing with gratitude! Don’t get vexed over pleasing your carnivorous family members and friends, and never give up hope on discovering and creating deliciously inventive dishes! There are numerous recipes that bring out the full flavors of the seasonal harvest without resorting to eating a plain bowl of kale and an ear of corn (although that does sound pretty delicious!). After a little hunting of our own (for recipes, that is), we’d like to offer some tasty tips to help turn your holiday gathering from ‘turkey-terror’ into a festive ‘fresh-veggie feast’!

Don’t Let the Fowl Fluster You

Take a gander through the follow scrumptious seasonal vegan recipes, courtesy of Integrative Nutrition and Veg Kitchen, that’ll even have your non-vegan friends and family gobbling it up!

Taste of Health Holistic Holiday at Sea is more than a great vegan travel experience, it’s an opportunity to travel and stay healthy while pampering AND educating yourself with current events and trends in the vegan world. On our holistic cruise you will have the opportunity to eat divine meals, make new friends engage with some of the most celebrated personalities of the Vegan Industry.  2013 will mark the 10 year Anniversary of the Holistic Holiday @ Sea and there will be lots of socials, great classes, amazing Caribbean ports and even a few surprises. Learning a new way of living has never been so much fun, so easy and so tasty!

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Eating Well with Hilary – Hilary Brown, That Is!

The ‘World’s Best Veggie Burger’ – Seriously!
We’re more than just a little excited to be serving Hilary’s Eat Well “World’s Best Veggie Burger” on our 10th Anniversary Cruise! I know what you might be thinking… ‘I hate eating meat substitutes,’ or ‘I already have a veggie burger brand I love, and out of all the other disappointing versions there’s no way this one could be better.’ Well ladies and gentlemen, we’d strongly urge you to think again, and we’ll prove to you why!

Having scratched together the mouth-watering recipe back in 2005 as a creation for her own restaurant, Local Burger, and with special attention paid toward common food allergens, Hilary Brown cleared the table of all of the synthetic ingredients, leaving only the wholesome, the natural and the delicious to cook up something satisfyingly special. What are the ingredients used, you might ask? A delightful mix of quinoa, sweet potato, millet, onion, sunflower seed oil, arrowroot and a dash of other naturally beneficial gluten-free, dairy-free, GMO-free, corn-free, egg-free, soy-free, yeast-free and nut-free addition.

The ingenuity doesn’t stop with the burgers, folks. Along with a fantastic blog, the Hilary’s Eat Well website also features a fantastic recipe-generator where visitors can browse through recipe suggestions by checking off their dietary preferences, including gluten-free, dairy-free, GMO-free, corn-free, etc. We know, you’re starting to love Hilary already!

More Than Just About Burgers

What truly struck us the most about Hilary’s Eat Well was the organization’s dedication to quality, taste and global consciousness.

“This company brings Hilary’s creations to people who want to live healthy and sustainable lives while eating food that is easy to prepare and that tastes great! We at Hilary’s Eat Well™ promise that we have made every effort to ensure all ingredients in our products supports a healthy body, world, and economy. It is food you can feel good about, because it loves you back!”

Whether it be their delicious burgers or tasty Veggie Bites, the commitment and enthusiasm toward healthy eating remains the same. Their certifications as vegan and gluten-free, winning Ashley Koff and Non-GMO Project approval, the Naked Food Award, as well as Woman Owned Business recognition only gives us a few more reasons to be proud and very excited to have their food on board!

Taste of Health Holistic Holiday at Sea is more than a great vegan travel experience, it’s an opportunity to travel and stay healthy while pampering AND educating yourself with current events and trends in the vegan world. On our holistic cruise you will have the opportunity to eat divine meals, make new friends engage with some of the most celebrated personalities of the Vegan Industry.  2013 will mark the 10 year Anniversary of the Holistic Holiday @ Sea and there will be lots of socials, great classes, amazing Caribbean ports and even a few surprises. Learning a new way of living has never been so much fun, so easy and so tasty!

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Social Eating Stipulations – Acceptance Through Example

Are Plant-Eaters Still the Odd Duck Out?

While plant-based diets are certainly making headway in our modern American culture,   broad acceptance remains stagnant in a critical cloud of naivety. In the eyes of the general ‘cheeseburger-chomping’ American, vegans, macrobiotics and vegetarians are viewed as either self-involved trend-riders, or shaggy, hand-soiled, feet-blackened hippy farmers who live at least 100 miles from anywhere worth being. But, like Bob Dylan has been known to say, “The times, they are a-changin’…”

Blog writer Brook Bolen, in her article ‘Understanding and Conquering Social Obstacles to Eating Vegan’ notes “As a sociologist by training, I am endlessly obsessed with human behavior–understanding why people do what they do and what motivates them. Add to that the fact that I obsess about food and regularly wonder why more people don’t share my passion for healthy eating, I can’t help but wonder what fuels and facilitates obstacles and resistance to eating vegan. The evidence is unequivocal and mounting: plant-based diets offer remarkable and innumerable benefits for human health and are necessary for preserving both environmental and human wellness. In spite of all this, obstacles and resistance are commonplace.
This is due, in part, to the way that animal-based foods are marketed to consumers and represented generally. Because animal-based foods dominate our traditional meals, they are considered wholesome, delicious, and well-balanced. More recently, some of them are being marketed as humane and/or sustainable as well. For these reasons, animal-based foods are seen as appropriate for everyone.”

But sometimes the facts just aren’t enough. While we can’t, and shouldn’t, force our dietary rubric on those around us, by leading through example it is possible headway to be made. “On a micro level, those of us whose diets are plant-based must continue to be open and accessible to others about it; in a sense, we must continue to minister about it. Knowing or being acquainted with someone whose views or lifestyle are different from one’s own helps grease the wheels of social change by personalizing difference. Obstacles to the mainstreaming of veganism will be more successfully countered when we understand how and why they exist.”

Is What’s Good for the Goose Really Good for the Gander?

The indifferent social view of “to each their own” gives little credence to the healthy, wholesome and ecologically healing foundation of a vegan and/or macrobiotic lifestyle. In part, this may be due to the plain and simple assumption that plant-based food simply doesn’t taste good. Some defensively call to mind the drudged-up memories of ‘grandma eating a strict hotdog n’ hamburger diet her entire life and having never suffered a single health issue.’ Well, grandma’s like those are few and far between, but we’ll save that topic for another blog post… And the argument that plant-based meals can’t rival the tongue-tantalizing capability of meaty dishes? Not only are nutritious vegan/macro recipes satisfying the picky palates of cuisine connoisseurs across the globe, the general public is starting to catch on as well.

“Vegan foods are not only appropriate for some, they’re ideal for everyone. Regardless of whatever differences define or characterize what and how we eat, everyone wants their food to taste good; they want to enjoy it… When done right, vegan food–just like everything else–tastes great. Even if I had actual mathematical skill or ability, I doubt I could count the number of times over the years that someone has expressed surprise over how tasty my vegan meal was. There is virtually no animal-based food anyone could want to eat that doesn’t have a comparable and delicious vegan version or alternative. Based on the universal criteria of taste alone, plant-based foods are fitting for everyone.

Of course, vegan does not necessarily equal healthy, but the fact remains that even the worst vegan foods (e.g., cupcakes, pizza) are healthier than their non-vegan counterparts, with no cholesterol or saturated fat and almost always having far fewer calories. Add to that the unmitigated environmental advantages of a plant-based diet and it’s really plainly obvious: eating vegan isn’t just for some bodies, it’s for everybody.”

Taste of Health Holistic Holiday at Sea is more than a great vegan travel experience, it’s an opportunity to travel and stay healthy while pampering AND educating yourself with current events and trends in the vegan world. On our holistic cruise you will have the opportunity to eat divine meals, make new friends engage with some of the most celebrated personalities of the Vegan Industry. 2013 will mark the 10 year Anniversary of the Holistic Holiday at Sea and there will be tons of socials, great classes, amazing Caribbean ports and even a few surprises. Learning a new way of living has never been so much fun, so easy and so tasty!

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‘Roundup’ the Neighbors and Kids, Folks… This One’s a Doozy

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90-Day GMO & ‘Roundup’ Studies Ending Prematurely – Grave Consequences

A recent French study performed by a team of scientists under the direction of molecular biologist Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, sustained by CRIIGEN, an independent research organization, produced alarming analyses concerning the digestion of, and long-term reaction to, Monsanto’s genetically modified corn and the company’s renowned weed-killer ‘Roundup’ among groups of lab-rats. The rats were fed a lifetime (two years) of the corn and weed-killer and, after four months since the study’s inception, began showing frightful signs of response which only intensified afterward, implying that the commonly accepted 90-day studies have been ending prematurely in their full analysis of side-effects.

The symptoms of the GM corn and ‘Roundup’ among the lifetime-exposed rodents include massive mammary tumors, multiple organ damage, especially pertaining to the liver and kidneys, as well as heightened mortality rates. The study showed that 70% of female and 50% of male rats died early when contrasted with the respective 20% and 30% death-rates of the control group.

“[The] study published today finds that rats with prolonged exposure to roundup-ridden corn suffered health problems including mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage. While numerous 90-day studies have already linked GMO foods to allergies and other health problems, the study, which was published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology,” marks the first-ever long term animal study on the health effects of genetically engineered foods.”

In response, “Monsanto said at the time of the earlier research that the French researchers had reached unsubstantiated conclusions. Seralini believes his latest lifetime rat tests give a more realistic and authoritative view of risks than the 90-day feeding trials that form the basis of GM crop approvals, since three months is only the equivalent of early adulthood in rats.”

In summation of the ‘Sustainable Food Trust’ YouTube video featuring the Director Patrick Holden, genetically modified corn is widely grown in America, fed to commonly consumed livestock, primarily cows, pigs and chickens, which is then digested by humans as processed through animals. ‘Roundup,’ being the world’s most popular weed-killer, is consistently finding its way into our foodstuffs, which could induce severe health-based results.

Counting the Convoluted Cost

It is worth noting that, according to the Reuters.com article from September 19th, “Although the lead researcher’s past record as a critic of the industry may make other experts wary of drawing hasty conclusions, the finding will stoke controversy about the safety of GM crops.

In an unusual move, the research group did not allow reporters to seek outside comment on their paper before its publication in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and presentation at a news conference in London.”

With so many eyes directed toward the aftermath of genetically modified food studies, politics are swimming with intense motions towards monitoring food production and notifying the public on what exactly is being placed on the dinner table. California’s ‘Proposition 37 Right to Know’ initiative promoting the labeling of genetically engineered food is making big waves as America moves toward the November elections. “The initiative has two main provisions: first, requiring ‘labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specific ways,’ and secondly, banning foods from being labeled ‘natural’ when they contain genetically-altered ingredients.”

For now we’ll need to educate ourselves on the facts, act to make our collective voices heard regarding the condition of our personal and communal health, and wait to see what new laws will, or will not, be put in place.

Taste of Health Holistic Holiday at Sea is more than a great vegan travel experience, it’s an opportunity to travel and stay healthy while pampering AND educating yourself with current events and trends in the vegan world. On our holistic cruise you will have the opportunity to eat divine meals, make new friends engage with some of the most celebrated personalities of the Vegan Industry. 2013 will mark the 10 year Anniversary of the Holistic Holiday at Sea and there will be tons of socials, great classes, amazing Caribbean ports and even a few surprises. Learning a new way of living has never been so much fun, so easy and so tasty!







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