My Favorite Things
The stuff I’m digging right now
Here are some of my favorite books that have taught and influenced me the most over my life:
- A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield
- A Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology by Jack Kornfield
- Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
- Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
- Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, MD
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- Stories of Your Life and Others and Exhalation by Ted Chiang
Meditation & Mindfulness
Here are some of my favorite meditation and mindfulness resources:
- The Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) at UCLA — Offers free guided meditations on their website, and local mindfulness meditation programs & retreats in the Los Angeles area.
- Dharma Seed – Free Dharma talk and guided meditations
- Insight Hour with Joseph Goldstein (Podcast)
- Calm — App with guided meditations
- Headspace — App with guided meditations
Health & Wellness
Here are some my favorite things that I use to stay healthy & feeling good:
- Pure Encapsulations CurcumaSorb (absorbable curcumin) — Helps with inflammation and body pain since my stem cell transplant.
- Carlson’s Fish Oil — Helps me with neuropathy and pain caused by chemotherapy
- D-Ribose (energy supplement) — Seriously the most important thing I’ve taken since dealing with chronic fatigue after my first bout with cancer.
- My Spin Bike — A much cheaper version of the Pelaton (this link is the exact bike I bought on Amazon) that helps me get little spurts of exercise in when I have the energy.
Learning & Online Courses
I love being in a constant process of learning and growth. Here are a few of my favorite sources for learning online:
- UCLA Extension Writing Program — Because of COVID-19 UCLA is now offering all of their extension school writing courses online. I’m currently pursuing the Certificate in Creative Writing.
- Typing Club (free online touch typing program) — This sounds silly, but I never learned how to touch type in school, and when I finally learned in my adult life it brought my writing to a whole other level because my fingers weren’t getting in the way of my brain.
- Masterclass — I have taken several of their writing classes before (including by Aaron Sorkin and James Patterson) and now have an annual subscription.
Food, Tea & Coffee
My favorite things to eat and drink:
- Genmaicha Green Tea (Davidson’s Bulk Teas) — My favorite type of green tea that has the tasty burnt rice in it.
- Freshly Meal Subscription — Getting enough to eat has been a big problem for both times I had cancer, because I just didn’t have enough energy to shop or prepare food. I’ve used Freshly on and off for years, and it’s kept me well-fed during cancer treatments, and also was very helpful when my husband broke both of his wrists at a CrossFit workout gone awry (don’t ask) and I was too preoccupied taking care of him to do the cooking.
- Huel — A healthy meal-replacement shake/powder that’s been my main source of nutrition post-transplant, (I’m more of an “eat to live” kind of person, so a meal-replacement shake that’s healthy and doesn’t require cooking or food prep is hugely appealing to me). My typical food intake these days is 1) fruit/veggie smoothie for breakfast, 2) Huel for lunch, and 3) Freshly for dinner, with some oyster crackers and chocolate thrown in between 🙂
- MUD / WTR — A lower-caffeine coffee alternative (with curcumin, black tea, cinnamon, and health-benefiting mushrooms) that I go to when I feel too spazzed out from coffee.
Life isn’t about amassing possessions, but here are a few of the things I own that make me happy :-):
- My BioMat Mini — A heating pad using far infrared rays that helps relieve pain and improve circulation. At most times of the day (including right now, as I type this) I’m sitting on this thing.
- My Yamaha Digital Piano — I have the P115, which I don’t think is made anymore, and the version that I link to (P125) is even better than mine. There’s also a cheaper one called the P71 that’s available only on Amazon.
- My Vitamix Blender — I use this to make my morning smoothies. My go-to smoothie: frozen mixed berries, frozen pineapple, kale, agave or honey, and a scoop of Green Vibrance powder.
- My Macbook Pro — I know it’s cliche to say you love your Apple products, but I really love this computer, and having a computer I love makes it so much easier for me to sit down and work at it.
Websites, Blogs & Podcasts
Here’s where I go when I want to be entertained and informed:
- Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (PODCAST)
- James Clear (BLOG)
- The Peter Attia Drive (PODCAST)