March promises to deliver springtime to Florida. The weather warms up and an evening out is delightful.
I write this from somewhere on the Caribbean sea, traveling on a cruise ship with our group of 2,000, beginning our 100 percent vegan holiday and being served meals that are whole food, plant-based (that means excluding ALL animal products). Our first port-of-call is St. Thomas. I’ve never been to that island and am excited to explore the area, especially the water’s edge.
As we sit down to any meal, it’s typical to share names and where each is from. More than once, upon mentioning Fort Lauderdale, heartfelt expressions were shared, joining the sorrow felt by myself and millions worldwide regarding the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy. Blessings to the first responders and greater group of those involved in offering assistance to anyone directly or indirectly impacted within the Parkland community.
Once again, there is no better time to address the safety of our schools, mental health and gun control. May peace reside within and without.
As to cruising, surrounding this ship as it is cutting southeast through the sea, there is a 360º horizon view sans anything manmade. It’s simply whitecaps on the water, a few puffy clouds and the richest blues one can imagine above and below. Just after lunch the other day, Martha (my aunt-by-choice and cabin mate) and I meditatively sat in silence for a time just looking out toward the horizon.
On board, we are given the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of educational classes and lectures between meals and in the evening. Dr. Neal Barnard spoke about how wonderful it would be for restaurants to either start or expand upon a non-discriminatory practice of offering more “universal meals”, meaning meals that are created with the idea that nearly everyone can enjoy the meal because it fits into their dietary restrictions (either restrictions for major allergies such as gluten or for foods that are restricted for religious reasons). Breaking it down, that would mean that the meals would be made only with fruits, vegetables, legumes and gluten-free grains. What a goal—creating universal menu items as a standard part of every restaurant, worldwide. Perhaps Dr. Barnard will write an article about that for us.
Food choices are very personal and everyone must take responsibility for figuring out exactly what foods and what combination of foods seem to digest better and contribute to one’s overall health. Sometimes it’s challenging to figure that out— certainly a trial and error process (as most things in life).
Breakfast ship-side typically starts with miso soup followed by a grain dish, cooked fruit, a small piece of fresh fruit and some cooked greens. Menus and ingredients are posted at the entrance to the dining room for each meal. That way, if there’s an allergy issue, we can adjust our order. Enjoy the images. They are representational of the types of plant-based courses we are served.
Ethnic Cuisine. When I went to Japan about 10 years ago, I was grateful to have learned how to use chopsticks when I was a child. One of the more memorable meals was served in a beautiful three drawer lacquered bento box. Today, I include wakame and miso often in my diet along with shiitake mushrooms.
No matter what, the game plan is to think long-term, longevity and sustainability while staying in the moment.
Enjoy the spices of life ~ let’s eat; plan on it.
SusieQ Wood, Publisher