Issue #3 My Favorite Books, Movies, Shows, Podcasts, Apps, and Food of 2021
Portland Travel Guide and Green Smoothie Recipe
Happy New Year! The latest edition of my newsletter includes my favorite books, movies, shows, podcasts, apps, and food of 2021. I also include my favorite green smoothie recipe and a guide to Portland, Maine.
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Here’s a more detailed guide.
My Favorite Books, Movies, Shows, Podcasts, Apps, and Food of 2021
Titans: Leila Meacham
Titans read like an entire season of one of my favorite shows in the 1980's, Dallas. The storyline is set in early 1900's Texas, oil boom on the horizon, betrayal, secrecy, and love. Read this one if you enjoy historical fiction.
The Guest List: Lucy Fole
This book is a wedding mystery on an exclusive remote Irish Island filled with secrets, jealousy, betrayal, and more.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse: Charlie Mackesy
This illustrated book is about friendship, love, and accepting each other.
The Art of Southern Charm: Patricia Altschul
Patricia is my favorite reality star on Bravo's Southern Charm. Patricia’s book is filled with etiquette rules, dating advice, style tips, and plenty of stories about her fascinating life.
The Book of Lymph: Lisa Levitt Gainsley
A guide that explains the health-promoting properties of lymphatic massage, featuring self-massage sequences anyone can do at home. Maintaining a healthy immune system starts with proper Lymph flow. Cleanse and nourish your body from the inside out with the power of lymphatic drainage. I also follow Lisa on Instagram for more tips.
Renegade Beauty: Nadine Artemis
Renegade Beauty is a holistic guide to beauty and wellness. Find out why toxins are so harmful in beauty products and discover the alternatives. The beginning of the book did not interest me, but the rest of the book was information new to me, especially the chapters on breast health, sun exposure, and essential oils. Nadine is the creator of Living Libations, an exquisite line of serums, elixirs, and essential oils. I use the Best Skin Ever Seabuckthorn Serum for facial massage. I also use the Living Libations Ozonated Healthy Gum Gel to help repair receding gums.
Holistic Dental Care: Nadine Artemis
Nadine's other book about dental care is a must-read. Her dental protocol works. She helped me heal my gums and tooth sensitivity.
*This guide includes Nadine's daily protocol to prevent decay, gum bleeding, inflammation, and even the onset of colds. Refer to page 25-26 for the daily protocol.
Just Thinking About the State: Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker
Darrell and Virgil host the popular Just Thinking podcast. In Just Thinking About the State, they reveal a biblical understanding of the role of government in the life of believers.
Taste My Life Through Food: Stanley Tucci
Taste My Life Through Food is part memoir, part cookbook, and part manifesto on living well, but above all, it’s a warm, charming look at the different ways we can find nourishment in the world.
Treasures of the Mexican Table: Pati Jinech
Pati is the host of Pati’s Mexican Table and La Frontera, a new travel show on PBS. Her latest cookbook contains over 150 easy-to-follow recipes plus instructional boxes that give you tips and alternative cooking methods. Pati shared the recipe for her Three Cheese Enchiladas from the cookbook.
Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple: A New Way to Bake Gluten Free: Aran Goyoaga
Aran’s cookbook includes gluten-free recipes for bread, cakes, pies, tarts, biscuits, cookies and includes a holiday baking chapter.
Here are links to some of the recipes in the cookbook:
Double Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cookies
Chocolate, Tahini and Buckwheat Marble Cake with Chocolate Glaze
Peanut Butter Banana Cookies
House of Gucci is based on the actual murder of Maurizio Gucci and the downfall of the Gucci family.
Spiderman: No Way Home is the best and most enjoyable Spider-Man movie.
American Underdog chronicles the true story of Kurt Warner, who went from stocking shelves at a supermarket to becoming a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and Hall of Fame quarterback.
Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy: Tucci takes us across different regions in Italy and shows us what makes the food-centric culture of Italy so unique.
Here’s a list of the recipes from the series.
Open Door Architectural Digest: The celebrity home tour videos give us a glimpse into a world of beautifully designed, meticulously curated homes.
Making Money with Matt McCall: Matt McCall’s show is an investment show that looks into what is going on in the stock market and provides investing advice from an expert.
Elevation Music Old Church Basement with Maverick City
Jireh is my favorite song on the album.
Ted’s Locker Room Jams from Ted Lasso: Here’s the main soundtrack on Apple Music and the companion playlist on Apple Music.
Here’s the Spotify playlist.
Huberman Lab: The Huberman Lab Podcast, hosted by Dr. Andrew Huberman, discusses neuroscience—how our brain and its connections with the organs of our body control our perceptions, our behaviors, and our health.
Slow and Reverse Aging Ep. 52: In this interview, Dr. Huberman and Dr. Sinclair discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms of aging and what we all can do to slow or reverse the aging process. He discusses fasting, lab testing, and supplements.
Understand and Conquer Depression Ep 34: Dr. Huberman discusses how stress, thyroid hormone, and cortisol play a role in many forms of depression.
*I recommend listening to all of the episodes and subscribing to his newsletter.
Here are the links to the most recent newsletters.
Tom Brown’s Body: In 2016, a popular teenager disappeared in the tiny Panhandle community of Canadian, Texas. His remains were discovered beneath a tree outside of town two years later. But to this day, no arrests have been made, and nearly everyone involved in the case has fallen under suspicion.
Favorite Episodes: You need to listen to them all in order.
The Just Thinking Podcast: The Just Thinking Podcast is one of the top Christian podcasts. Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker address important cultural issues and expound God’s Word for the purpose of encouraging and educating Christians.
Ep. 113 Why Are You Afraid? How do you recognize and respond rightly to sinful fear and anxiety? What’s the remedy for overcoming it? Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker consider those crucial questions through the lens of the Word of God.
Find a Biblical Counselor in Your Area – Association of Biblical Counselors (ACBC)
Copilot: The Smart Money App is the best financial tracking app. You can use my code MARLA to double your free trial.
Pocket Casts is my favorite app to listen to podcasts.
The Source Cafe is a healthy restaurant that is gluten-free with outposts in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach near LAX. They offer delivery via Door Dash. The menu also includes juices, organic wines, cocktails, and sweets.
Harmony Bakery is a gluten-free and vegan bakery located in the Hampden neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland. Everything is made fresh daily.
Three Pines is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The coffee and espresso is from Heart Roasters. The house-made almond milk is delicious.
Portland Maine Travel Guide
I'm dishing on where to eat, play, shop, and drink in Portland, Maine.
Start your day out at Tandem Coffee. It is the best coffee shop in town. The pastries are also popular, especially the biscuits. Don't miss Holy Donut. These donuts are made with real potatoes not flour.
After exploring the city, stop by Duck Fat and order the duck fat fries and a coffee milkshake. The best french fries ever! That is all you need to know. Just go there!
For brunch or lunch, my favorite spot is Central Provisions. Bayside American Cafe is another popular brunch spot. Expect long lines on the weekend, but it's worth the wait.
I also enjoy shopping at the local markets. The Portland farmer's market is on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Rosemont Market is open daily, and sources produce from local farmers. Micucci is an Italian market located near Duck Fat.
No visit to Portland is complete without a visit to the Portland Lighthouse. You can get an Uber or Lyft to the lighthouse or use a combination of public transportation, walking, and biking. Hop on South Portland City Bus (Rte. #21) in Portland (on Congress Street) to the Pillsbury and Cottage Street stop. The entrance to Fort Williams, where Portland Head Light is located, is approximately 1.5 miles south on the left -- Cottage Road turns into Shore Road. There is a food truck that sells lobster rolls. Locals say they are the best lobster rolls in town.
Blue Spoon *GF
Duck Fat *GF
LB Kitchen *V *GF
Eventide Oyster *GF
Becky's Diner (local favorite for breakfast)
Rose Foods bagels
Holy Donut *GF
Maine and Loire natural wine bar
Hunt and Alphine Club cocktails
Casco Bay Lines
While the ferry goes to several of the Casco Bay Islands, all incredibly beautiful, Peaks offers the most in terms of dining and activities; however, you really can't go wrong with a visit to any of the islands. If it's too cold for island exploration, take a boat ride.
Portland Discovery Tours
trolley and boat cruises
Portland Museum of Art
Free on Fridays
Bubba's Silk Lounge
Every Saturday is 80s night. Show up dressed in 80s attire and get in free. Check their website for other special events and theme nights.
Case of You
vintage clothing and accessories
Portland-flea-for-all is open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This gem is two floors of vintage goodness.
Standard Baking Co.
I also want to know your top hotspots in Portland!
TIPS FOR WRITING THANK YOU NOTES
1. Write every note. Yes, it's true. Thank you notes should always be handwritten; no emails allowed!
2. Have your stationery ready. To avoid getting behind, always keep a stock of thank you notes or stationery in your home or office.
3. Be timely. Thank you notes should be sent promptly - within two weeks of the date the gift was received or the date of the event. If the gift is given at a celebration such as a wedding or baby shower, send a note within one month of the date.
4. Praise the hostess or gift-giver. Reflect back to the person, as in, "Your taste is impeccable, as always."
5. Think about the highlights of the event, as in, "Bravo! The party was spectacular. The lovely guests and delicious food were standouts. I have so many great memories."
6. Mention the specific gift. Say something like, "What a great smelling candle. I am enjoying the scent so much. How did you know I love candles so much?
7. Sound genuinely appreciative. Try, "I can't thank you enough for inviting me to the dinner party.
My favorite stationery and card shops include:
How to spot those pesky and expensive resort and lodging fees?
When things go wrong during an AirBNB stay, the company’s secretive safety team jumps in to soothe guests and hosts, help families and prevent PR disasters.
The art of saying no: how to effectively communicate and set boundaries.
What people are really doing when they play hard to get.
How to work with a manipulative person.
The espresso martini is everywhere again.
Is blue zone living one of the secrets to a healthy life?
How to end a long-term friendship without hurting anyone.
How to analyze, tear down and rationalize the false narratives we believe.
How to read newsletters without clogging your inbox.
Visit this spice store on your next trip to NYC.
How to feel at home in a new city.
The best affordable places to live.
Scientists are only just discovering the enormous impact of our gut health and how it could hold the key to everything from tackling obesity to overcoming anxiety and boosting immunity.
Beware of beauty products that claim to be clean. There is no formal definition of what types of products can qualify as clean and no governing body to regulate the label.
If you like the idea of a Roth, then you’re going to love the supersize version, known as a mega backdoor Roth.
If you’re visiting anytime soon, check out these Asheville recommendations.
My Favorite Green Smoothie Recipe
2 cups cold filtered water
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce (1 small head)
7 cups chopped spinach (1 medium bunch)
½ cup chopped celery (about 3-4 stalks halved)
1 medium apple, cored and coarsely chopped
1 medium pear, cored and coarsely chopped
1 medium banana or plantain, peeled and cut in thirds
½ of fresh lemon, peeled and seeded
Fill the blender with 2 cups of water. Blend the spinach and romaine until smooth.
Add the celery, apple, pear, and herbs (if using) and blend again until smooth.
Finally, add the lemon juice and banana, and do your last blend.
Pour and eat fresh!
The smoothie will last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. I freeze a batch and store in glass jars. Do not store in plastic containers.
Drink it slowly so it mixes well with your saliva to aid the digestion process. Wait 30 minutes before digesting any more food. It costs about $4 per serving. I mainly use organic produce. Refer to the Dirty Dozen Clean 15 Guide. I recommend investing in a Vitamix for the best tasting smoothie. I use the Vitamix 5200. Note: you must use a high power blender.
P.S. Share what you read, watched, heard, or did that made you think twice in the comments.
*Recent updates include Tucson and Sacramento.