Sorry I’ve been MIA last week. If you didn’t know I went on the Taste of Health vegan cruise! Here are some highlights from my trip. I really hope you will come with me next year! Sign up through me and get a special discount!
Boarding Day – Sunday, March 21st
We boarded the ship with no serious complications. I got here a bit too early though and had to wait for my room for 2 hours and for our groups’ lunch buffet. I was starving, so I went up to deck 9 to see if there might be anything I could eat with the regular cruise food. What I made out with was salad, fruit, French fries, and bruschetta. It sort of held me over having to wait another 30 minutes in our buffet line once lunch started. The lunch was delicious, brown rice, baked beans, tempeh veggie pasta salad, baked cauliflower, salad w/ balsamic dressing. I was happy to be fed. Dinner was way too salty for me. With sea vegetables on the first menu it probably scared some of the new people! I know the head chefs personally, so I was surprised with the menu choices for the first day. Last year the food was very tasty, so we’ll see.
Day 2 – Monday, March 22nd
Got up bright and early to hit up yoga. It was a great way to start the day. By breakfast I was feeling energized and I’m still bouncing off the walls. The breakfast is really great here. All the meals are sit down and you are served by waiters with a set menu. So easy and no having to ask the waiter tons of questions or be stressed because everything is vegan/macrobiotic. If you have allergies or you’re on a healing diet you can request other things, and there is always a gluten-free table. So breakfast is great; you have a choice of a traditional macrobiotic breakfast of miso soup, grain, and greens or today French toast, and there is a buffet of cereals with almond, rice, or soymilk, toast and jam provided by St. Dalfour, and a variety of fruit. No one goes away disappointed because there is something for everyone. Most people I know order everything on the menu and if still hungry eat from the buffet. We health foodies know how to eat ok!?
I volunteered this year to be a room monitor, where I check peoples’ tags to make sure they are with our group. It’s a super easy job that gives me the freedom to cruise from class to class shooting footage for this blog. Videos will be coming soon!
Jessica Porter’s class Macrobiotic Cooking 101 is always a riot. She makes macrobiotics easy to understand to just about anyone. She bummed people out when she gave the real deal on dairy, but I’m so glad she addressed it before T. Colin Campbell speaks about his work from The China Study. It was a nice buffer for the scientific information ahead. It was amazing to me how many in the crowd reacted to what she was saying about dairy. Our culture is SO brainwashed to think that cow’s milk and dairy foods are essential ingredients to our daily diets. SCARY.
Bob Carr’s class on Seven Levels of Beauty & How to Achieve Them was informative and funny. I think we often disconnect with the fact that everything we eat determines everything about us including the healthy of our skin, hair, 5 senses, etc. Eat healthy food = have a beautiful inside and out. I went to take a shower after that so I missed the other morning classes.
Lunch was good, but had too much garlic for me. We had guacamole w/ corn chips, gazpacho, bean burrito, and fruit kanten. Following that was an amazing lecture by Warren Kramer on Hypoglycemia. Even though I’ve been studying this stuff for 7 years I always learn something new when I go to Warren’s lectures. I also learn a lot about my own condition. Dinner came next, which was delicious. The Captain of this ship happens to be vegan (!) so there is a vegan option on the regular cruise menu. My friend/roommate and I decided to give that a whirl (Artichoke Florentine in Squash boats, yum!) in addition to the fennel w/ dill soup, watercress salad w/ mandarin oranges, risotto, and the most delicious carrot cake. Next we hit up Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s talk on Understanding Hunger, Food Addictions, and Taste Preference. Great information but he kind of talked down to people and made some jokes that weren’t so funny. After that was ice cream social time with delicious vegan ice cream from Blue Mountain Organics. Then we danced the night away at the 70’s/80’s party where the cruise employees dressed up in crazy outfits and wigs, which you can see in the photos.
Day 3 – At sea, more great classes and food. Started off the day with Jessica Porter’s Hypnosis and Healing, which was interesting and informative. Caught a bit of Bryant Terry’s cooking class where he did some rapping. Went to Dr. Neal Barnard’s (President of PCRM) class and received a review on Ethical Issues in Food Choices. I’ve hungout with Neal many times and he is just the sweetest man ever. I was bummed he only stayed for half the cruise.
After the second day at sea we started visiting different islands. First stop was St. Thomas, where some friends and I took a ferry to St. John which had prettier, secluded beaches. We went to Trunk Bay and I went snorkeling. Back in St. Thomas on the way back to the ship we found a deli that had many vegan sandwiches. I got one that had marinated tofu and veggies in a pita. I got a serious sunburn on my back that was pretty painful. The boat was all out of aloe because so many people got sunburned! I found someone with lotion that eased some of the pain. In the evening classes continued and another ice cream party with Coconut Bliss. YUM!
Second stop was San Juan. This was a tiny little town with old architecture but very Americanized. Starbucks everywhere and I went shopping at Marshall’s. We took the free trolly around to see the old fort, which took all of ten minutes. There was this grassy area where tons of kids were flying kites (see photos). It was the coolest thing ever. I wanted to jump out and join them. We found a quaint little cafe with vegan options from a recommendation of a local. I got a pita sandwich that had hummus, green apple, and avocado. It seriously was delicious and hit the spot. Then I spent an hour in Starbucks using their free wifi to finish and turn in a project that was due that day for my Nutritional Science class.
Third stop was Grand Turk, which had a beautiful beach but was tourist/souvenir hell. I went swimming for a few minutes, shopped around, then went back to the boat so I didn’t get more sunburned. I had to be at a 4 o’clock class for room monitor. Went to more great classes, filmed, then got ready for our pizza party. Every night on this cruise is a party of some sort, cocktail, ice cream, milk and cookies, pizza, disco, you name it.
Day 7 – At sea, last day of cruise
The last day is always sad because you know tomorrow you will leave and not see many of your old and new friends till next year. Saturday was jammed packed with classes. I went to yoga with Patricia Nakon of NorthWest Yoga, Christina Pirello’s talk on What’s Wrong With The Things We Eat, a fun Iron Chef-esque cook-off between 2 people in the audience, and many more. More ice cream with a toppings bar. I made a banana, strawberry, chocolate sundae topped with almonds. It was heavenly.
Highlights of the trip
Hanging out with my old friends and making new friends. Especially Erin, Bridgette, Gabrielle, Morgan, Julie, Sheri and her mom, Jessica, Blair, Christina, Neal, Melissa Karpel & family, Jackie, Colin, Larry, Anita, Bob. New friends Mandi & Ed, Lisa, Sally, Mary, Tim, Steve & Patricia, Bryant Terry, cute couple from Austin who’s names are escaping me, Marilu Henner who still amazes me with her energy and beauty, Ben and his parents, Joe and Colleen from my favorite magazine VegNews, and many many more!
Bridgette preforming and Erin singing and dancing her brains out.
All the amazing classes and wonderful teaches.
Food was a plenty and tasty. I was surprised I didn’t gain 10 pounds with 5 course meals every time we ate, but I actually think I lost weight going up and down the stairs and eating the clean food for 7 days. The desserts were especially delicious this year and I usually had 2 at every dinner.
If all this doesn’t make you want to come with me next year then take a look at these photos from the trip! And, if you sign up through me you can get a special discount! Please let me know if you want me to send you the details.