best shape of my life…wtf!?

I was having a zoom conversation with friends, and I noticed the gentleman looked particularly robust. His eyes sparkling, skin glowing. What’s up with that? Well, he said he is in the best shape of his life…. He’s used the past 8 weeks to exercise daily and practice intermittent fasting. I don’t know about you, but my pants are increasingly tight. And so, I joined the ranks of 3,600+ folks to do live sweatfest classes with Ryan Heffington. Moving my body around the living room? Joy. Joy. Joy

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read

I am nearly finished with Laila Lalami’s, THE OTHER AMERICANS, and I love it. Told from multiple viewpoints, the novel focuses on a Moroccan family living in a desert town in Southern California. Events begin with a hit and run that results in the death of Nora Guerraoui’s father, bringing her back to her hometown near Joshua Tree, to uncover who was responsible. Immigration, racial tension, opioid addiction, the Iraqi war, art making, secretive children, identity, and the Mojave landscape are all themes in this gorgeous book.

And, if you’re interested in participating in a virtual discussion with the author, Next Tribe newsletter has organized one with the Marion Winik Book Club. I have attended one of these zoom groups and it was terrific, intimate and fun to spend an hour with smart women all over the country.

Our beloved Karen Karbo will be offering her own Sunday Salon with Next Tribe. Talking about her terrific new book, YEAH, NO. NOT HAPPENING, and the freedom that comes with embracing our imperfect selves. Cue the hallelujah choir!



write

I’ve totally changed up my teaching these days and I’m loving some things about an online community.

  • Love seeing people in their homes, peeking over their shoulders at art, book shelves, what’s displayed on the refrigerator door.
  • There’s a lowering of performative behavior… do you know what I mean? If we are all in our living rooms in comfy pants, we can sort of just be.
  • I feel connected.  We write together. We talk and learn from one another. We leave inspired.

If you’re interested in participating in an online workshop with me, DM me and let me know. I am opening up one more Living Room Writers’ Club. Here’s how it works:

  • 1 meeting per week. 2 hours a pop.
  • 1-2 people up each week for workshop
  • 1 prompt, plus time to write, plus ‘homework.’

I will provide:

  • zoom room
  • a poem
  • a prompt
  • craft notes for your work which I will email along with marginalia
  • classroom management (you’re all a little wild!)

You will provide:

  • your great energy
  • your words


eat

I dredged up an old favorite this week. Check out this recipe for coconut mango tapioca. Of course, you know me, I cut back on the sugar to ¼ cup, and I added strawberries, cut tiny and placed in the bottom of the cups. It was delicious and I ate it twice for breakfast!

I also finally tried to make flatbread. I hate store bought pita, and yet I’ve always been too lazy to try to make my own. In walked Smitten Kitchen with this recipe for layered yogurt flatbreads, which I made with whole wheat flour. I’m not going to lie, they are probably more tender and delicious with white flour, but they were damn good. Here they are, resting like sweet little puppies!

 

A friend also gave me this fantastic recipe for green rice that I’ve made three times already! Really, try it. It’s one of those refrigerator recipes where you can basically clean out your crisper drawer. Substitutions welcome!

Green Rice

3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 scallions, root ends and tough tops trimmed, coarsely chopped
1 large jalapeno, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro or parsley or spinach or all 3!!, root ends trimmed, coarsely chopped (about 2 lightly packed cups) + reserve about 2T fresh leaves
Kosher salt
1 cup whatever rice you have on hand, I used short-grain brown
2T olive oil
1 lime

  • Combine garlic, scallions, jalapeño, leafy greens (except reserved 2 tablespoons chopped leaves), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup water in blender, and purée until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into liquid measuring cup and add water if necessary to total 2 cups liquid; set aside.
  • Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until grains of rice are glossy, slightly transparent, and stop sticking to pan, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Slide pan off heat and carefully stir 2 cups of liquid into rice, scraping bottom of pan to release any stuck-on rice grains.
  • Return to heat and bring to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook without peeking for 20 minutes.
  • Remove lid and gently fold in reserved leaves with fork; add salt and lime juice to taste. Serve.

I know I’m lucky. We’ve been regularly donating to a food bank in our community. If you can swing it, here’s a link to find yours: Feeding America  Another spot to consider donating to: Meals On Wheels

 

Finally, I woke up feeling low, low, low a couple days this week. SNL at Home was a fantastic mood lift, full of existential angst and laughs. Check it!  Thank you for taking good care of yourselves. As always, thanks for reading. I’d love to know what’s up with your read.write.eat. life. Please, send me news of your discoveries. SHARE the newsletter with friends