plant matter 5.25

hi! thank you for showing up here to read plant matter issue #3. this newsletter has been the creative outlet i didn’t know i was craving, and hearing that it’s brought you joy or led you to discover something new makes me feel kind of like this grateful otter.

my hope is that this is a more effective medium than blowing up my friends’ phones with an endless stream of unsolicited content curation (though tasia, if you’re reading this, i’m never going to stop sending you ceramics on instagram). so if you know someone who you think might enjoy this newsletter planted in their inbox on monday evenings, please lovingly forward it their way.

as per my last email, i think about productivity a lot—what it means, the value we place on it, how it affects our identities. i find that accomplishing something ‘productive,’ whether it’s submitting an article or organizing my closet usually leads to a considerable boost in my mood. but lately i’ve been wondering—is it the accomplishment, or the flexing of a (potentially dormant) creative muscle that energizes me? i’m considering this newsletter, and how eager i am to sit down and write it each week, confirmation of the latter.

what has been engaging your creative muscles, lately (‘productive’ or not)? reply to this email and let me know, if you are so inclined :)


tomorrow: join me and coconut yoga for a twisty slow flow at 9:30am cst. register here.

saturday: i will be flowing with kate gisborne and dj taz rashid at 9am cst. join me for a very high vibe experience and help support this wonderful small biz! register here.

also saturday: zooming in for a 45-min all levels flow at 11am cst. pay what you can via venmo: maia-welbel. click here for the link.

updated yoga schedule can always be found at


i have been living in arq tank tops since day one of staying at home, and their high-rise undies are ideal for the pants-less yoga i’ve been doing in my bedroom. arq generously outfitted our first ever echo photoshoot and i’m still swooning over these gorgeous gals in their organic cotton skivvies.

i interviewed pete ternes, one of the owners of middlebrow beer co. for replate, a food rescue organization in based in san francisco, and it’s live on their blog here. middlebrow has been committed to social good since they opened in 2011 and the way they’ve pivoted during the pandemic is no exception. if you live in chicago you can stop by for some sourdough bread, homemade pizza kits, and farm-fresh produce! order online to pick up.

my dear friend celia (of litterless fame) introduced me to miranda bennett studio, an ethically made, plant-dyed apparel brand based in austin. she is joining their team as a sustainability consultant this summer—how cool is that? i love learning about businesses that truly prioritize things like fair labor practices, waste prevention, and made-to-last production. it gives me hope that we are moving towards a more sustainable textile industry. related: if you haven’t seen the documentary the true cost, i highly suggest giving it a watch. it opened my eyes to the extent of the damage and exploitation that fast fashion culture causes.

maya oren is selling glorious photo prints that tell stories of her travels around the globe. i am particularly struck by the simplicity of this one and by this color. she’s also an og #joyofmovement contributor, and my dance-at-home inspiration always.

allie kushnir is phasing out her product line to focus on painting and activism, and i snagged two of these lovely and functional canvas pouches through the pay-what-you-can sale she ran on instagram. i used them to gather the miscellaneous writing utensils and other paraphernalia cluttering my desk and it’s made for a much tidier workspace.

loam magazine’s 2020 publication, ‘weaving new worlds,’ is now available for pre-order, and i can hardly express how incredible the team of humans behind it is. i spoke to kate, loam’s founder, for closed loop cooking a few months ago and let me tell you, she is a gift. i’ll let this issue’s description speak for itself:

weaving new worlds will explore how the threads of decolonizing creativity, climate justice, ecological regeneration, and activism intersect in the work of reimagining a vibrant and just future. this issue illuminates folx on the frontlines of art-as-activism who are living into the better world we so desperately need through daily action. 

i used up some of my sourdough discard making these delicious salty pretzel rolls. i loosely followed this recipe by anne-marie of zero waste chef. i’m very intrigued by a recipe she teased for sourdough potato bread, so check back next week to see if i’ve fermented any spuds.

another kitchen experiment i’ve been wanting to try: preserved lemons! i will pretty much do anything sophia roe tells me to so i guess this is my moment.

i finished ‘good girls lie’ and wound up enjoying it more than i expected to—thrillers not being my typical genre. it was smart and ‘gossip girl’-esque and the creep factor did not veer into sleep disruption territory. i started ‘all adults here’ by emma straub last night and it hooked me from the first page. i’ve loved straub’s previous novels so i was stoked to get off the library waitlist for this one.

if someone wanted to purchase this delightful fruity necklace for me i would be quite thrilled.

got a project i can help spread the word about? a plant-based recipe request? an especially excellent song, podcast, or dance move to share? send them my way, please! just reply to this email.

grateful otter,