The List: I Tried a Cult Fitness Class (And a Better Way to Pack Lunches)

Plus a page-turner that's a perfect travel book.
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Two weeks ago, I walked into a room of a hundred people dancing on yoga mats parallel to a stage. Speakers blasted The Smashing Pumpkin's Bullet With Butterfly Wings while women (and two men) swung their arms and hips, keeping their eyes glued on the three women on stage. I was only two minutes late to Taryn Toomey's fitness class, but it was already so loud that our Social Media Manager, Jess, couldn't hear me greet her above Taryn's instructions to "Let go! Do what you need to do in this moment!" As we transitioned into jumping jacks and cardio moves, women shouted and even howled in what Taryn calls "cathartic movement." I'm not sure what I expected when I signed up for Taryn's class, but knew it had to be good: the woman's inspired a Lululemon collaboration and literally flew in from Meghan Markle's baby shower to teach our class. What I learned is: You either love it or hate it. It's incredibly cheesy, but it's also refreshing, cathartic, and fun. Depending on my mood, I could have fallen into either category—but on that day, I loved it. Since then, I've treated myself two additional classes (not taught by Taryn) in L.A., and loved them—you can sign up in select cities, or watch her heart opening-exercise here. Here's what else I'm loving this week:

1

I love podcasts like How I Built This and Second Life—few things are more inspiring than hearing the success stories of others. But it's also hard to fully take their advice when they say things like, "Take huge risks to follow your dreams!" Because of course they would say that—they took a huge risk, and *bam* now they have a multi-billion dollar company. Failory brilliantly interviews start-up founders who didn't make it, for the lessons they learned in, well, failing. There's the 'Wikipedia for high school notes' that made $0, an online tool for designers that shuttered, and hundreds of other stories. Surprisingly, they're just as inspiring—and empowering—as the success stories. Fingers crossed for a podcast version soon...

2

It took me approximately two minutes to cruise through this page-turner told from different perspectives. In it, Essie is a teen star on a reality show that's reminiscent of 19 Kids and Counting, with a "fire-and-brimstone" religious edge. When she learns she's pregnant, her options are limited by her public-persona and family's religious beliefs. The twists, which literally begin in page one, unfold until the final moment. It's a perfect read for a plane since you won't want to look up from it once you start.

3

I'm a big believer that half the challenge of packing a lunch each day is what you put it in—it sounds ridiculous, but if you're inspired by the container, you'll take more care putting lunch together. I recently impulse-purchased this Mepal, and for lunch today I brought a slew of roasted vegetables, with my favorite hummus-y dip in the lid. The smaller base keeps me from over-serving myself (I favor a huge breakfast and big dinner over lunch anyways), and inspired my meal prepping this week. I'm already excited to pack the following lunches: Shakshuka (bottom) and Greek yogurt (top), salmon meatballs and vegetables (bottom) and dill vinaigrette (top), and pearl couscous with feta (NYT) (bottom) and a cookie (top). 

I also love these beautifully-designed 'Porter' bowls from W&P (the design firm that made the pineapple cocktail shakers of 2015), and these bento boxes, for post-workout lunches, when I'm hungrier! 

4

My least-favorite T.V. recommendations come with the asterisk, "It gets good after the [insert number here] episode." If it doesn't capture me in the first five minutes, let alone first episode or several episodes, it isn't worth my time (especially when there are so many shows that are incredible from the get-go). My single exception to this rule is True Detective on HBO. I complained my way through the first several episodes of Season 1, before it fully took off and became one of my favorite shows, ever—and Season 3 is no exception. In it, Mahershala Ali plays a detective investigating the disappearance of two children. It moves at, let's just say, a patience-testing pace—but the twists and turns (and performances) are worth it. Stick with it!

Also, our entire office is talking about Leaving Neverland this morning—have you seen it?

P.S., If you live in Los Angeles... This is the first week of the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, which goes till April 23rd. On Friday, our entire team is going to taste small plates, and drink craft beer and wine (as well as hop around the park). See you there??