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Cruise Away to a Healthier You in 2008


The Holistic Holiday at Sea launches its 2008 natural health cruise, March 30-April 6, and features a program that is a comprehensive change from the traditional cruise experience.

This natural health cruise includes over 100 classes taught by three-dozen of the world's leading alternative health professionals, research scientists, macrobiotic healers, shiatsu practitioners, yoga and Pilate's instructors, and vegan and macrobiotic chefs.  On-board dining options feature organic and natural foods, including hard-to-find vegan options not offered on most cruises, all prepared by the program's own chefs and bakers.  
The seven-day Caribbean cruise departs Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., March 30, on Costa Cruise's ship the Fortuna. Ports of call include San Juan, St. Maarten, Tortola, and Grand Turk islands in the eastern Caribbean.  
Say the word cruise and beyond the image of sailing the open waters and visiting exotic ports of call, one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is the all-you-can eat food... and with it the dreaded 10-pound weight gain and returning home feeling worse than when you left.   
That trend is changing as aging baby boomers seek out healthier lifestyles, both at home and on vacation.  The Holistic Holiday at Sea provides an education cruise vacation that produces life changing experiences, leaving you better educated and in better health than when you set sail.
The Holistic Holiday at Sea was founded by A Taste of Health, a non-profit educational foundation dedicated to organic, sustainable living and holistic health. Sandy Pukel, a holistic health advocate and owner of Oak Feed natural foods store, a Coconut Grove, Fla., landmark, founded A Taste of Health in 1988.  Since then, A Taste of Health has sponsored seminars and conferences around the country on alternatives in eating and other health related topics aimed at changing our nation's attitudes towards food and health.
One of the programs founded by Sandy is the Holistic Holiday at Sea, which has hosted over 2,300 people since its first cruise in 2004.    
Highlighting the 2008 cruise are two top speakers; Dr. Sherry Rogers, recognized as one of the country's leading medical doctors on environmental medicine, and award-winning actress Marilu Henner, who has authored seven New York Times best selling books on health, cooking and fitness.
Dr. Rogers will be giving the keynote speech on “Healing the Impossible” and leading two workshops on Reversing Heart Disease and Anti-Aging: Fact or Fiction.  She is board certified by the American Board of Environmental Medicine, is a Fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition.  Dr. Rogers has been in solo private practice in environmental medicine for 38 years in Syracuse, NY where she sees patients form all over the world.
Marilu Henner, well-known actress of stage, screen and television (TV's Taxi), will present several classes during the cruise, including Healthy Hollywood Secrets, Love the Food that Loves You, 50 Anti-Aging Tips, Wear Your Life Well and Stop Self Sabotage-Face Your Fears with Fun.  Marilu's philosophy is culled from years of experience, and it is all based on a personal quest to combat unnecessary health risks and adapt an overall "sense" of our body's needs. She is the author of seven best-selling books, including Marilu Henner's Total Health Makeover, Healthy Life Kitchen, and 30-Day Total Health Makeover.
Among the other presenters are, Ann Gentry, owner of the Real Food Daily vegan restaurant in Los Angeles; Dr. Neal Barnard, internationally known integrative medicine researcher; Christina Pirello, a nationally-known vegan chef and Emmy Award-winning TV host; and Yogi Desai, an internationally renowned yoga master and author in the field of yoga and holistic living.

The highlight of the cruise is the variety of seminars offered on healthful living, diet and exercise.   Sessions include lectures on meditation and healthy breathing, nutrition in the prevention of cancer and heart disease, understanding macrobiotics, integrative relaxation, hypnosis and healing, massage, and many more.  

Over a dozen natural foods cooking classes ranging from beginner to advanced will be taught by some of this country's most celebrated and accomplished natural foods cooking teachers.

Exercise programs feature daily yoga and Pilates, meditation sessions, run/walk, stretch and abdominal workouts.  Additional sessions include a Recovery Panel with personal stories of courage and healing through alternative methods of diagnosis and treatment, and even a Holistic Holiday talent show along with several social events.

As with other cruises, the food is the star of the Holistic Holiday at Sea.  All of the natural foods meals will be served in one of the ship's main dining rooms.  Prepared under the strict supervision of Mark Hanna, an internationally known natural food chef, the menu features recipes that are vegan/natural, non-dairy and organic whenever possible.  Desserts prepared by natural foods pastry chefs will be sugar and dairy-free.  Macrobiotic quality condiments such as miso, shoyu, umeboshi, and sun-dried sea salt will be used exclusively. Non-dairy and sugar-free beverages will be served. Fresh fish will be available on request along with the ship's regular vegetarian options.  Understanding that some participants might not fully appreciate the natural foods diet, the standard on-ship meals will be available on request and in the other dining rooms.

Many of the cruise meals are featured in a just released cookbook, "Greens and Grains on the Deep Blue Sea," authored by Sandy Pukel and chef, Mark Hanna.   Available in major bookstores and at, the cookbook includes more than 120 kitchen-tested recipes that provide not only great taste and visual appeal, but also maximum nutrition. From taste-tempting appetizers and sensational soups to five-star salads, satisfying entrées, and magnificent desserts, the book includes easy-to-follow instructions that will produce appetizing results for even the novice cook.

In addition to these natural health programs and dining options, Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise participants have full access to all on-ship amenities, shore excursions and dining rooms.  The Fortuna features multiple fresh and saltwater pools, theatres, disco, lounges, casino, state-of-the-art gym, Turkish bath and spa treatments.  

Shores excursions will provide time to explore historic San Juan, bask on the beaches of St. Maarten, fish and ride horseback on Tortola or shop for island treasures and snorkel at Grand Turk.

Prices start at $1,195 person double occupancy and include all port charges, the specially prepared organic/natural meals, lectures, yoga and Pilates classes, meditation classes, workshops, cooking classes, nightly entertainment, and the use of all basic spa/health club and onboard facilities. Taxes and tips are additional. Some special workshops, individual consultations and individual treatments require additional charges.
For detailed program information, visit or call 828-749-9537

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