Vegan Thanksgiving, Yoga, and the Barre Workout!

VEGAN THANKSGIVING
By Victoria Piscatelli

Please see the full article published in Pulse Magazine! (http://www.thepulsemag.com/wordpress/2014/11/vegan-recipes-for-thanksgiving)

Ah, Thanksgiving Dinner. For most, this meal consists of succulent turkey, zesty sausage stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, sweet jello cranberry sauce, and buttered veggies. But what does Thanksgiving dinner look like for vegans? Unlike vegetarians who refrain from eating meat or using some animal products, vegans do not eat or use any animal products.

Many people follow a vegan lifestyle for moral, ethical, and health reasons, but you do not need to be a vegan to enjoy vegan dishes! According to Holy Cross sophomore and vegan advocate, Will Peters, consuming a plant-based diet has helped him to create an environment in his body where disease cannot grow. As a vegan, Will has found that he not only feels better, but has fun doing it. Every meal is an opportunity to try new, tasty combinations of fruits and vegetables.

Whether you are looking for recipes to accommodate a vegan guest this Thanksgiving, or just interested in sprucing up your traditional Thanksgiving dinner with some healthier options here are some vegan recipes that will surely leave everyone at your table thankful for a delicious meal.

Onion, Celery, and Mushroom Stuffing
(Recipe from http://www.onegreenplanet.org/)

Ingredients:
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
4 tbs. vegan butter
1 large onion, chopped
Ribs celery, chopped
8 oz. button or Cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tbs. fresh sage, chopped or 1 tsp. dried sage
1 tbs. fresh thyme, chopped or 1 tsp. dried thyme
1⁄2 tsp. dried rosemary
1⁄2 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1⁄2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 cups gluten-free bread cubes
4-5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add in the onion and celery and let cook until softened, but not brown, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and let cook until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and the seasonings. Add the parsley and the bread cubes to the skillet. Mix well. Moisten the cubes with broth until it is soft but not wet. Remove the bay leaf and let the mixture cool. Transfer the stuffing to a large casserole dish that has been brushed with some oil or cooking spray. Bake until the stuffing is set and crisp, about 15 minutes. Then turn the casserole dish around and cook 5 more minutes until browned to your liking.

stuffing

From http://thevword.net/2012/11/onion-celery-and-mushroom-stuffing.html

Quinoa, Cranberry, and Pistachio Stuffed Winter Squash
(Recipe from http://thesimpleveganista.blogspot.com/)

Ingredients:
2 large or 3 small acorn or Delicata squash
Maple syrup
Olive oil
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pistachios
2 tablespoons finely minced shallot, optional
Mineral salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and dry squash. Slice each squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds. The seeds should come out easily by scraping the inside of the squash with a spoon. Lightly brush the inside of each squash with a little oil and/or maple syrup. Sprinkle with mineral salt. Place on baking sheet cut side up. Bake in oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until squash is tender and pierces easily with a fork.

While squash is cooking add 1 3/4 cup water and 1 cup quinoa to a medium size pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid and let set 15 minutes. Add pistachios, cranberries, shallots, salt, juice of lemon, and any other optional ingredients. Toss to combine. Scoop quinoa into squash halves, place back in the oven for 10 minutes to warm if needed, and serve.

stuffed squasg

From http://withstyleandgraceblog.com/2011/12/20/quinoa-pistachio-stuffed-acorn-squash-recipe/

Why Yoga is Perfect for Holy Cross Students

By Erin Connolly

Yoga instructor Jenn doing a basic balance pose

Yoga instructor Jenn doing a basic balance pose

The average Holy Cross student is drowning in stress, with exams, extracurricular activities and social events. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle often takes the backburner since we have so little time. However, yoga offers the perfect solution.

Yoga can be practiced at various levels of intensity, and has something for everyone. The effects of yoga alone are enough to get me going to my weekly class with Jenn. After one class, you become less stressed with increased brain function. After a few months you experience less anxiety, chronic pain (from our heavy backpacks anyone?) and lower blood pressure. Yoga gives us time to take a step back from chaotic life on the hill and to focus on our own bodies and ourselves, a critical part of maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

Classes are available at Holy Cross in the evenings with an instructor or certified student. If you’re feeling adventurous, grab a friend and head over to the Bikram Yoga Studio in Auburn less than 10 minutes away for a hot yoga session. Hot yoga is definitely more intense, with the room at 100F, but you’re able to sweat out all of your toxins while re-centering yourself!

Yoga is definitely worth squeezing into our crazy schedules. It’s the perfect time to ask Santa for a mat!

Barre Workouts: What are they all about??

By Sarah Clifford & Sarah Smith

barre

From http://glow.shoppersdrugmart.ca/articles/barre-workout-three-exercises-to-try-at-home

Curious about barre workouts? So are we! Barre workouts have been “trending” for the past few years so we wanted to see what they are all about! These workouts incorporate exercises using yoga, pilates, and light weights as well as bar work inspired by ballet. The workouts help to increase flexibility and create muscle definition, and will definitely leave you feeling sore afterward! To find out a little bit more about barre, we interviewed Kristen Paadre. Kristen is an instructor for a class on campus called Booty Barre®, so she was able to tell us about where barre comes from and what a typical workout entails.

How would you describe the concept of barre workouts? Is it similar to or influenced by other popular types of workouts? 

Barre workouts are ballet inspired and incorporate exercises done at the ballet barre using one’s own bodyweight for resistance. They are designed to help sculpt the envied strong lean muscles of dancers, improve balance, and increase core stability. The is a fusion of ballet, Pilates, and yoga designed to tone the entire body. The combination of strength and flexibility exercises with added cardio intervals to elevate the heart rate make these workout classes extremely effective.

What sparked your interest in barre workouts?

After taking ballet for many years, I was eager to give barre workouts a try when I first heard about them.

What is a typical “Booty Barre” workout? What types of exercises are common and what muscle groups or skill sets are targeted?

All Booty Barre® classes start with a dynamic warm-up followed by arm circuits with weights. Then we hit the barre for 35 minutes during which we complete five different barre segments with cardio blasts in between to keep the heart rate elevated. The class ends with Pilates mat work focusing on abs, back, and flexibility. Despite its name, this class is designed to target the entire body. You will leave this barre class satisfyingly exhausted and amazed at how fast an hour has flown by thanks to the fun upbeat music and fast paced choreography.

How are barre workouts different than other types of exercise?

Barre workouts are different from other types of exercise as they are low impact but still incredibly challenging. By taking pressure off the joints, you can be sure to work every muscle to fatigue. Barre workouts are designed for everyone and there are modifications for every age and level.

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