Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Charmed Monday Minute: 5/26/08

Greetings this Memorial Day --

This is my first week to send The Minute without Joya (my able assistant) so we'll see how well I do. Several of you have written to me offering to do virtual assistant work and I thank you so much. I think I'll be looking for someone local who can help me deal with the paper mail, shipping, etc., but thanks from my heart for offering.

I'm finishing up two weeks in NYC and it has been glorious. I walked in off the street at 8:02 last Tuesday night and got a 5th row center ticket for Gypsy (fabulous, amazing, carried me away), and yesterday William was in town and we got 5th row center seats for Spring Awakening from the half-price ticket booth. (Spring Awakening has lots of young love, sex, and death. It's a new kind of Broadway musical. William didn't care for it. I must admit I did.) In any case, these great seats are an indication to me that New York is inviting us back.

We have looked at apartments to buy and we are in process there. I'll let you know what's up when something is certain. In the meantime, your prayers and good thoughts are greatly appreciated. Know that I'm holding all my readers and friends in the Light as well.

My very best,

Book of the Week

Lillian Butler and Eddie Robinson, owners of Raw Soul Restaurant in Harlem where I took the "cooking" class in April have a new book out called Health Journey: Your Personal Road Map for Vibrant Living and Youthful Aging. It's a compact and jam-packed guide to natural living, vegan/whole-foods nutrition, and raw foods. Topics include hydration, food combining, juice fasting, exercise, making changes last, and a terrific recipe section featuring ultra-flavorful dishes from the restaurant's menu. This book is well researched, an easy read, and exquisitely balanced in the way that Lillian and Eddie are able to both call it as they see it and still respect their readers at whatever point they find themselves. I'm about to read it a second time. Order online at http://www.rawsoul.com or by phone: 212-491-5859; the cost is $21.95 plus $4.50 shipping. (And stay tuned: Ms. Lillian will be my radio guest in September or October.)

Recipe of the Week

I've taken this recipe from the featured book, Health Journey by Lillian Butler and Eddie Robinson. It's Ms. Lillian's Down Home Greens, one of the dishes we prepared in the class I took at Raw Soul. We all know how nutritious dark, leafy greens are but getting enough of them in our diets can be difficult. Either we didn't grow up eating them and don't know what to do with them, or we did grow up eating them but they were overcooked, over-salted, and seasoned with pork fat or bacon. Here's a way to enjoy greens with no cooking at all, and they are incredibly delicious. (Parenthetical remarks are mine.)

Ms. Lillian's Down Home Greens (4 servings)

4 bunches collard greens
4 bunches kale or mustard greens
Flax oil to coat greens
2 large diced garlic cloves
1 diced sweet onion
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbls. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbls. agave nectar (a honey-like, low-Glycemic-Index sweetener
made from cactus - available at health food stores)
1 Tbls. chili powder
1 Tbls. cumin
1 Tbls. Celtic sea salt (this is a minimally refined, mineral-rich salt; if
you don't have any, use regular sea salt but cut the amount to 2 teaspoons)
1 tsp. cayenne
10 sliced Shitake mushrooms (I've used reconstituted dry
Shitakes when I didn't have fresh)

Wash and cut greens, removing stems. Coat greens with oil. Add seasonings. Mix well with hands. Taste. Adjust flavors. Add mushrooms. Let marinate overnight in refrigerator. These greens get better with time, so make enough for a few days. You won't miss the cooked version. (In class, Ms. Lillian had us really massage the greens, allowing the pressure, as well as the acid from the lemon and vinegar, to tenderize them the way cooking would have. This enabled us to enjoy the dish that evening without the overnight wait.)

If You Have a Book in You ...

Book consultant Jennifer Wilkov is a powerhouse who may be able to help you become an author (or a better-selling one). I took advantage of one of her offerings, "Lunch with Jennifer," and found it a remarkable experience. She has an uncanny ability to zero in on what is working for a writer and what isn't, on a practical, psychological, and spiritual level. I know that I'll be more successful as a result of working with Jennifer, which is why I want to let you know about her. She does phone coaching all over the country and also offers fabulous teleclasses, some of them free of charge. She doesn't confine her work to established authors either, and she can be a great help to new writers and to people who don't think of themselves as writers but who know that there's a memoir or a novel or a business book that they're supposed to get out into the world. Read more and be in touch on her site: www.yourbookisyourhook.com
Coming on 'A Charmed Life' Radio, www.healthylife.net

My live radio show is coming up this Wednesday, May 28, noon Eastern time, 11 Central, 10 Mountain, 9 a.m. Pacific. My guest will be Jennifer Cornbleet, author of Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People (she came up with the amazing brownie recipe I gave you a couple of months ago and on which I'm still getting positive feedback). We'll talk about getting more fresh produce in our diets, what raw foods are all about, the basics of raw food prep, and Jennifer will share some of her simple, scrumptious recipes. You can read more about Jennifer on her site: www.learnrawfood.com. The link is to the show is http://www.healthylife.net. If you can't listen live, all shows are archived and available for you to hear or download at your convenience.

Where I'll Be

Sunday & Monday June 8 and 9 (and returning July 20-21) - I'm doing the evening lectures on "Younger by the Day" and "How to Live a More Spiritual Life" at the New Age Health Spa, Neversink, NY, www.newagehealthspa.com

Thur. June 19-Sunday June 22 - North American Vegetarian Society Summerfest, Johnstown, PA, www.navs.org. They'll have me working a lot and doing various lectures throughout the week on health, well-being, aging well, making peace with food and weight, and bringing your ethics into the real world without being insufferable about it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Charmed Monday Minute, May 19

Hello, lovelies -

We're a day late since this is the day I can be in the glorious presence of radiant Joya, my brilliant assistant who is headed for the graduate program in directing at Arizona State University. This is our official swan song and she'll be teaching me how to send The Minute and do some of the many other things she does so well. Joya: I already missed you and now I miss you enormously. Please invite me when you're up for your first TONY.

In other news, I am in NYC this week and half of next, working on The Charmed Life Handbook and looking at apartments so we can move back. There may be some developments on that to report next week: good thoughts and prayers appreciated.


Book of the week:

What Would Audrey Do? Timeless Lessons for Living with Grace and Style, by Pamela Keogh (author of Audrey Style), Gotham Books, 2008.

You know I rarely use the p-word, but to my mind What Would Audrey Do? is a perfect book. It looks beautiful. It's the right size and shape. It has quality paper and fun illustrations. You could proudly give it as a gift and happily pick up another copy for your very own. And the information in it is so practical, so usable, and so readable, I plan to keep this little gem on my bedside table for months to come.

I admire Audrey Hepburn anyway and have long believed that she exemplified what it means to live with grace, style, and compassion. Her life wasn't easy---her father abandoned her and her mother, she survived the lean and frightening times of World War II in Europe and witnessed the Nazi occupation---and she went on to enchant millions as an actress and fashion icon, and inspire millions more as a humanitarian.

Keogh so captures Audrey in this charming book that looks at its subject in the myriad aspects of her life and guides us as readers in adopting for ourselves some worthwhile Audrey traits.

Two thumbs up. If I had more thumbs, it would be more thumbs up.

Another Admirable Woman:

Some of you know the work of Sera Beak, comparative religions scholar, author of The Red Book, and gorgeous, real-life, 30-year-old dynamo who is out to help young women (and anybody else who's game) develop a personal spirituality that rocks. Sera will be on the East Coast in June doing a weekend workshop for women at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck June 2-22, and a Redvolution talk for women AND men in NYC on the 23rd. Here's what she says about the Redvolution:

"A Redvolutionary is someone who does not play by the social, religious, cultural, sexual, or political rules. She affects change by daring to be herself, forging a unique path, and serving her planet authentically. She is a "spiritual cowgirl," rebelling against dogma and ideology in order to experience a direct and intimate relationship with the divine. She has a fearless commitment to truth and freedom, chocolate, red wine, and gold body glitter."

For information on the Omega workshop, go to www.eomega.org, and for the NYC talk "Redvolution: Dare to Disturb the Universe," (7 to 9 on Monday June 23 at Lila Center, 302 Bowery at Houston, 2nd floor), go to www.theidproject.com. And there's more on Sera at her own site: www.serabeak.com.

FBLNM Brookdale College HIghlights:

On Friday of last week, I did the closing keynote for the Brookdale Community College Women's Conference in Lincroft, New Jersey. Welcome to everyone from there who is now subscribing. I promised you (and our other readers) that I'd recap the highlights here:

(1) Take care of yourself with M-E-N: meditation, exercise, and nourishing yourself on every level. When it comes to food, make the best choice from what's available.

(2) As for your money: What happens in the month stays in the month. Either pay as you go, or pay it off.

(3) The key to great relationships: Fall in love with your own life, your own company, and your own self. Then you'll be happy regardless of who else is around, and you'll attract great people into your world.

Where I'll Be:

Sunday & Monday June 8 and 9 (and returning July 20-21) - I'm doing the evening lectures on "Younger by the Day" and "How to Live a More Spiritual Life" at the New Age Health Spa, Neversink, NY, www.newagehealthspa.com

Thur. June 19-Sunday June 22 - North American Vegetarian Society Summerfest, Johnstown, PA, www.navs.org. They'll have me working a lot and doing various lectures throughout the week on health, well-being, aging well, making peace with food and weight, and bringing your ethics into the real world without being insufferable about it.

Quotation of the Week:

"Anyone or anything that does not bring you alive is too small for you." - David Whyte

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Charmed Monday Minute, May 5

Hi, all -

I'm going back to a weekly Minute to see if I can keep these short--really a Minute to read. In my news, I don't have much except that I'm happy that it's spring (it doesn't look or feel like spring up here in the Catskills today, but we've had some hints and at least there's no snow).

I'm working on the edits and updates for The Love-Powered Diet which will be out in a new edition - its third incarnation - next year from Lantern Books. And I'm writing the essays for the sequel to Creating a Charmed Life. The publisher hasn't decided on a title yet but my working title is The Charmed Life Handbook: When You Absolutely, Positively Have to Live Remarkably.

Oh, we got it straightened out with Inspire Me Today: they will re-feature me in the fall. I apologize for any confusion there. And those of you who signed up but missed me can find me in the archives here.

Be well and happy -

Recipe of the Week:

Every time I don't do a recipe, somebody writes to me saying they missed it. I'm happy to share my favorites. As you've picked up from the past few Minutes, I'm doing a lot of raw food now so many of the recipes I'll share with you will be uncooked, but I'll share with you some of my favorite cooked recipes that my family has enjoyed over the years, like this one from Ingrid Newkirk's The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals (Warner Books):

"Mock Chicken Loaf Florentine with Chickenless Gravy"

For the loaf:

1 10-oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed
1 Tbls. vegetable oil or water
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 Tbls. imitation chicken-flavored powder, or 1 vegetable boullion
1 ¾ cups boiling water
2 cups TVP (textured vegetable protein) granules
1 pound soft tofu
1 cup gluten flour or ¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbls. nutritional yeast flakes
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
½ tsp. onion powder
3 Tbls. vegetable oil

Chickenless gravy:

2 cups boiling water
2 Tbls. vegetable oil
3 Tbls. nutritional yeast
1 vegetable boullion cube
½ cup diced fresh mushrooms
½ cup finely chopped onion
Onion salt to taste
Unbleached all-purpose flour

Steam the spinach and drain well.

Heat the oil or water in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until transparent, about 5 minutes. Dissolve the imitation chicken-flavored powder or boullion powder in the boiling water. Add the TVP and let stand for about 10 minutes. Preheat the over to 350 degrees.

Pat the tofu dry, then mash. In a large bowl, combine the TVP mixture, spinach and tofu. Stir in the remaining ingredients and pour the mixture into a lightly greased 8 ½ x 4 1/2 -inch loaf pan. Smooth the top and bake for 45 minutes, or until brown on top. (If the loaf starts to get too brown, cover with aluminum foil.)

Make the gravy. In a large saucepan, simmer all the ingredients except the flour for approximately 5 minutes. Slowly add the flour (tablespoon by tablespoon), whisking after each addition, until desired thickness is reached. Keep warm. Let load stand for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn out onto a platter. Serve with gravy. Serves 6 to 8. Preparation time: 45 minutes. Baking time: 45 minutes.


The New York Times has to do these so I can, too. Last week when I told you about creativity coach Debbie Abram, there was a typo in her email address. It should be Debbie_spiritdancer@yahoo.com. If your creativity is blocked or it's been crowded out for other things, drop her a line.

Quotation of the Week:

"The animals of the world ... were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women were created for men."

- Alice Walker in her introduction to Marjorie's Spiegel's bookThe Dreaded Comparison

Something for Moms of Every Sort:

My dear friend (and one of my many mentors), Alice Marie is hosting a workshop in New York City on Saturday, May 17: "This Is an Emergence: Giving Birth to Your Authentic Self." It's for moms-to-be and anyone, male or female, who pregnant with a creative project. It's bargain ($15). Register at www.mamapalooza.com.

Where I'll Be:

Friday, May 16 - Brookdale Community College (Lincroft, NJ) Women's Conference, "All in a Day's Work." I'm doing the closing keynote, "Fat, Broke & Lonely No More." The morning keynoter is executive VP of WE TV speaking on "The Other Side of the Tube," and the day is filled with terrific breakout sessions as well. For enrollment info or questions, email Linda Martin: lmartin@brookdalecc.edu.

Sunday, May 18 - Unity Church of New York, Sunday service, 11 a.m., Symphony Space, 95th & Broadway, NYC. My topic will be "When You Get Lost Between the Moon and New York City."

Sunday & Monday June 8 and 9 (and returning July 20-21) - I'm doing the evening lectures on "Younger by the Day" and "How to Live a More Spiritual Life" at the New Age Health Spa, Neversink, NY, www.newagehealthspa.com

Thur. June 19-Sunday June 22 - North American Vegetarian Society Summerfest, Johnstown, PA, www.navs.org. They'll have me working a lot and doing various lectures throughout the week on health, well-being, aging well, making peace with food and weight, and bringing your ethics into the real world without being insufferable about it.

A New Internet Radio Event:

Nancy Mills is the very focused woman who's come up with The Spirited Woman Circle Tele-Chat Conversation Series -- first Tuesday of the month, 10-11am PST, 1-2pm EST. Register at thespiritedwoman.com or call 888-428-1234.

Here's the lineup:

April 1: Jill Conner Browne, Sweet Potato Queens Books of Love
May 6: Susan Miller, founder of www.Astrologyzone.com
June 3: Carolyn Howard-Johnson, writer's advocate, "How to Do It Frugally" series of books
July 1: Jacquelyn Mitchard, highly acclaimed author of Oprah's first Book Club
pick, The Deep End of the Ocean
August 5: Laurel Touby, founder of Mediabistro.com, just sold her company to Jupitermedia.com for $23 million
September 2: Catherine Ryan Hyde, bestselling author of Pay It Forward
October 7: Victoria Moran, self-help guru (I am?) and author of Creating a Charmed Life