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zoe & the beatles

just a twenty-something vegan navigating healthy, positive living with a little help from her friends john, paul, ringo & george!

Monthly Archives: July 2010

good afternoon!

sorry i’ve fallen off the blog-o-sphere as of late. i’ve just been really, really, ridiculously good looking busy. between work outs, kicking it with friends, and running errands i am unfortunately finding little time to write up interesting posts. i don’t feel particularly interesting at this moment. so i’m just going to catch you up on thoughts and events and foods of the past few days.

food number one:

tofu noodles! i saw these at my local grocery store and swooped them immediately. were they good? yes! very tasty! i paired them with a raw zucchini, lightly steamed carrots, and the remainder of the sauce i made the other day. super yum.

final thoughts: while this was delicious and super low in calories (20 per serving and there’s two servings in that package! i ate it all in one sitting), i wish i read in the back before buying them. because i read tofu on the front, i assumed the noodles would be a good source of protein. wrong. for the entire package, there is only two grams of protein. bummer. but a delicious bummer nonetheless.

the other night i returned home completely ravenous. i wanted something indian inspired, and quick. so i threw together this (kind of?) curry in a hurry:

turned out pretty good for being a kind-of curry! i served it over some quinoa i cooked because i was way too impatient to wait for brown rice.

and today, i made my very first batch of hummus! because i soaked my own chick peas the other day. i’m not giving out a recipe because i am still working on making it legit…too legit to quit, in fact. and i don’t think it’s too legit to quit yet. a friend just gifted me a HUGE bag of walnuts, too! i just prepped some raw taco “meat” for my dinner using them. i plan on creating a raw dessert soon with them as well. recipe for that as soon as i get around to it!

yesterday i spent the day on top of mount tam again. lost in the trees again. twas awesome.

sigh. the redwoods are so pretty. one thing i noticed yesterday while lost in the beautiful greenery that is northern california’s muir woods? i have an issue with being present in the moment. i tend to allow my mind to wander to future events. my body may be present and alert to the time and space i occupy at any given second, but my mind rarely is. i have trouble focusing completely on what i am doing at any period of time. so yesterday, as i wound through the woods, all i could think about was what i was going to do when i got home. where’s the logic in that? i tend to catch myself doing this quite often. i’m going to work on that.

and in other news, i’ve been feeling awesome lately (although today i am fighting off a bit of a funk). i’ve stayed dedicated to avoiding chocolate (although i may have had a slice of raw raspberry mocha layer cake from cafe gratitude on national junk food day and it may or may not have contained cacao ;)) and i have not baked a single thing (though i am seriously itching to. bag of walnuts = a world of raw desserts! i can’t wait!!!). i’m seriously going to start avoiding sugar because i’ve noticed how different i feel mentally and physically without it in my diet. moderation!

also, i start every morning with yoga, even on my “shred days”. and boy have i noticed a difference. my core feels stronger. my mind feels lighter. and today i stepped on a scale just to check in. i won’t tell you what i weigh because i don’t think that’s important, but i’ve lost five pounds from the last time i weighed myself (about two weeks ago? maybe more.) i was pretty shocked because i look more or less the same — just more toned. yoga is a god send, for both the body and the mind. i even went to the pool the other day and felt confident in my bikini. that’s major. MAJOR. seriously, i never ever thought i’d be comfortable in my own skin. but i honestly think the goal is attainable by the end of this year.

siiigh. i’m really in love with life right now. i’m trying to see the beauty and the blessings in each and every day.

on that note, i should mention i’m leaving tomorrow to spend the week in lake tahoe with my family. i am so excited to relax and unwind and get away from everything for a second. our family friends are lending us their home which means i will have a kitchen to cook in! oh yeah, i’ve already stuffed a bag full of food to take with me! i will not be posting anything. i’m unplugging for seven solid days.

have a great week and apologies for this scattered, really horribly written post!

namaste!

zoe!

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goooooooood afternoon lovies :)!

is the day sunshiny and bright and beautiful where you are? i hope so! it certainly is over here. i just got back from a round of ultimate frisbee golf with a couple of friends. i biked over to the area and finally got to snap some pictures! i biked along the trail i usually run. (by the way, i cannot at all express to you how happy i am whenever i remember i am no longer running. i feel lighter and freer. so i think i am doing something right here in the decision making department!)


(the rest here are just ones i took biking up the hill (i didn’t stop!!!) to the course.)




(my school is on the left!)

i am so blessed to live out here. during the rainy season the hills turn an ireland-like green. it’s so pretty!

before i biked to meet my friends, i did a 20 minute gentle hatha flow. and then started day one of jillian michael’s 30 day shred! i have no form of strength training going on and i need a new replacement for cardio and have heard good things about this video. it worked me a bit but i also started with 3 pound weights. i think when i advance to five pounds, my arms and back will really start to feel the burn!

i also started out the day with this lovely smoothie bowl:

the bowl contains one frozen nanner, one white peach, a BIG handful of spinach, half a cup of almond milk, half a cup of water, and half a teaspoon of xanthan gum (found for cheap at target of all places!). i sprinkled the last of my puffins on top and added a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes! it was so good. something about eating a smoothie out of a bowl leaves me feeling much more full than if i drank it out of a glass. weird, right?

anyway, what i really want to talk about today is judgement. we all have opinions…so we also all have judgements. when we pass judgement on ourselves or on others, the action may never be intentional; if anything it might just be instinctual. it may also never be acknowledged as well. we are a very judgmental society. the action of judging someone or something comes naturally. we usually do not think twice about how easily we judge.

why we judge is complicated. i think we’re constantly stuck in the comparison game. our society sets a standard in several areas of life (i.e: in beauty, intelligence, success) and a way to measure those standards against our own lives. one of the means of measurement is comparison. by thinking to yourself “well, at least i don’t look like her!” you temporarily give yourself a boost in confidence. but you are also passing a negative judgement against someone. how might that person feel if your thought did not stay in your head but some how found it’s way out of your mouth? so, in working towards being less judgmental towards myself, i decided to also start practicing non-judgmental thinking against others.

whenever i find myself passing someone and thinking “oh god, what is she wearing?” or “how can he eat that?” i stop, rewind, and reconsider. i try to find a way to compliment the person i just judged. i’ll think “well, i am not her. her clothes work for her. she’s comfortable. good for her, wearing what she wants!” or “it’s his lifestyle. he looks like a nice guy!”

since tuning into my thoughts and focusing on what my mind is actually saying, i have found my inner voice to be way less judgmental. if i look at someone, before immediately sizing myself up against them, i find myself thinking “he’s got a great smile!” or “she has really pretty eyes!”

i do this to myself as well. if i think “uh, i hate my stomach today” i’ll immediately think “okay, maybe for today you hate your stomach. but look at all the other positive things you have to offer!” to find beauty in others, it becomes crucial to first find beauty in yourself. otherwise, all the negativity you channel into yourself will reflect on how you view others and your environment. work at positivity, yo! it’s so worth it. living in a negative world enshrouded in negative emotions really puts a damper on living life to the fullest. it ain’t easy, never said it was. i still struggle with negative thoughts — who doesn’t? but the point is, i’m trying. even the fact that i am trying makes me feel more upbeat.

and, to end on a lighter note, let me share with you the radtastic lunch i just consumed:

pita plate! with raw carrots, raw cucumbers, and lightly steamed broccoli. not quite there yet on raw broccoli. it’s okay — just not great. paired with a whole wheat pita (89 cents at the mediterranean market!) and some super spicy sabra hummus. it was delicious. unpictured: water melon chunks!!! finally cut up that mondo watermelon i bought. froze a bunch. kept a bunch fresh. perrrrfecto!

enjoy the rest of your day!

namaste!

zoe!

good very early morning kidlettes. hope you’re all sleeping soundly.

i’ve got some things on my mind.

i just returned home from a friend’s going away party. twas quite blah. but i got to bike home which was relaxing (i love the stillness of night. i usually work out better when i am in a quiet environment!) AND my friend victoria is back in town! it was great to see her; she’s been in France and away for about a month.

and while talking to victoria at the party, i inadvertently stumbled upon a revelation. one of those revelations you knew all along but did not have enough courage to speak aloud. regardless, i found myself saying the words aloud easily and without hesitation: “yeah, i think running and i are on a little break right now.” the statement sounded real and truthful. it felt real and truthful. my chest felt lighter; hearts always speak the truth.

something in my body loved that pronouncement, hugged it with all its being. i finally admitted to myself the very fact i’ve been dodging for two months, about when it crept out from the shadows of my mind: i cannot find anything remotely attractive about running right now save for the fact that it burns a ton of calories. and i don’t want to look at exercising as solely a form of burning a ton of calories. i want to view exercise as a means to keep my mind and body healthy. i want to use exercise to keep me happy, not unhappy and miserably chugging through sixty minutes of torture. i am afraid my outlook on exercise has shifted negatively some how. what started out healthy enough has turned into a semi-compulsive need to torch calories in order to stay slim.

i finish my runs of late with only one thought: well, at least i burned a lot of calories! …nuh-uh. way too negative and unhealthy of a thought. it makes me uncomfortable to admit this and it makes me upset to seriously acknowledge it but i know when i have an issue. and i most definitely have an issue with running. my last few runs felt stiff, tight, and unbearable. and since i’m learning to wholly appreciate this body of mine, i am listening to it’s current disagreement with running. i know ignoring the compulsive itch to run will be very difficult, as on days when i do not run, i do not feel like i “deserve” to eat a healthy amount of food. i restrict on these days and feel my food anxieties more deeply. i am not anorexic, but i certainly do not eat as much as i should.

while i will start repressing my anxious body’s need to run, i will start to adhere to my healthy body’s daily demand for yoga. i already have. yoga, unlike running, leaves me feeling strong and connected to my body. yoga calms me. yoga soothes me, body, mind, and soul. i leave my mat centered, happy, and confident. and i break a good sweat.

i appreciate this body. the other day, ilana asked us to share with her what we loved about our bodies. immediately, i wrote how i love my curves, which i do. i also wrote how i loved the fact my abs are finally starting to show definition, which i also love. but after i wrote this i reread my comment and realized everything i wrote centered on appearance. it revealed to me how conscious i actually am about the outside of my body. i appreciate it when it looks good, and loathe it when it looks “bad”. on these unfortunate days i forget what my body does for me. i am still missing the bridge between appreciating the body for all it can do and how it looks. to begin truly, honestly loving this body, i need to start rebuilding that bridge, because i burned it a long time ago.

so that’s it. running and i are on a break. will i cave and pull a crazy rendezvous with running? it’s quite possible. i ran the other day when i said i wouldn’t because i felt panicky about not working out “hardcore”. and yeah, it sucked. i may use the parent’s treadmill for intervals because i found i really enjoyed those but the open road and the soles of my running soles will not be speaking for a cool minute.

and you know, regina spektor did say it best: i have a perfect body, but sometimes i forget.

treat yourself with kindness. you deserve it.

namaste.

zoe.

goooood morning kidlettes! hope all is well on your end of the blog-o-sphere.

i just finished some good morning stretching. i wake up and do some form of yoga every morning. it helps wake me up and it feels awesome to stretch first thing in the morning.

now, the title of this post is “inspiration”. yesterday, i was “inspired” by evan’s delicious sounding sauce! i tweaked it a little bit to fit with what i had in my pantry. i omitted the extra two tablespoons of brown sugar, did not have tamari on hand so i used bragg’s liquid aminos, and replaced orange juice with lemon, smooth peanut butter with chunky (because i do not own smooth).

and boy oh boy did it turn out great! so tangy! i plopped some tempeh in it and lunch was on:

i rolled it up and ate these babies wrap style. so tasty! i followed it up with an apple and a walk to my friend’s house.

but by inspiration, i really did not mean food inspiration. i meant inspiration on different terms. since overhauling my diet almost a year ago, i’ve noticed several changes in myself, obviously. but i have also noticed changes in those around me. especially recently.

i find handfuls of friends approaching me with running related questions or yoga inquiries. friends proudly tell me they ran for x number of miles. my mom and dad inform me of their previous night’s dinner which contained brown rice, something almost unheard of. my parents meals look much more healthy and wholesome in comparison to the meals of a year ago. other family members share their healthy eats with me whenever i see them. ditto with friends. candace even thanked me a few months ago for introducing her to the world of healthy eating.

it’s amazing how much my habits have inspired others to take on healthy habits of their own. i do not want to take all the credit because i do not think i deserve it all, but i certainly puts a smile on my face to think my healthy lifestyle has rubbed off on the people i love.

however, i do see a negative flip side to all this positivity. sometimes, it does make me feel uncomfortable, as i feel some friends only parade their work out accomplishments in front of me as a form of competition. which is lame. very lame. because i am not about that. and it also makes me uncomfortable when family members or friends comment on my diet in a sarcastic tone, as if attempting to embarrass me for eating the way i eat. sometimes, i think my lifestyle choices inadvertently make others embarrassed of their own which in turn leads them to believe i am judging them in some way. which of course i am not.

do i feel the need to defend my lifestyle? when i feel attacked, yes, but i try and keep the comments in. i try and remind myself that the teasing comes from a deeper place outside of myself.

plus, i get much more positivity anyway! and i choose to concentrate on that.

have you found your lifestyle inspires others? if so, how? or have you found yourself awash in negative comments? how do you deal?

and as a third installment to inspiration, i feel the need to say this: i am so very uninspired as of late to work out. i went on a disastrous run the other day. my legs felt like lead. i could not get my breathing under control. i was miserable the entire run. lately, the idea of a run sounds so incredibly off putting it’s not even funny. i am falling out of love with running, yet again. which makes me nervous. because running is what keeps my weight under control. and i still struggle with anxiety on “rest” days or “off” days. i find myself not eating as much under the pretense that i “don’t deserve” to eat as much because i did not work out. it’s effed, i know, but food anxieties still exist despite my attempts to ward them off. i’m trying to stay positive but i have this feeling that my insecurities will creep back in (as they usually do) if i forego exercise.

so i guess i am wondering how you inspire yourself for a work out? i don’t think i can stomach a run for a while, at least that’s how it feels today. and i really don’t want to force myself to do anything because i’ve learned that only makes me hate the activity and resent it completely. but i still need to work out! help?

namaste!

zoe!

whew! good morning/afternoon kidlettes!

just finished up chaz’s (yogamazing!) summer flow and yogadownload’s yoga with weights #2. a nice 60 minute sweat session. seriously, literally pouring sweat!

hope everything is well where you are. it’s finally starting to feel like summer! no over cast days anymore — it hit 90 yesterday and i only anticipate the temperature to keep climbing! i think lots of cold food is in my future. for now, just half a cantelope :)!

anyway, remember when i mentioned i had a few topics i wanted to share and discuss with you? well here’s one of the many!

the night of the concert, my mom, dad, and i went out to dinner beforehand with my uncle, aunt, another aunt and her friend. everyone at the table was very curious about my vegan diet (and no, i do not mean diet here as in restriction diet. i mean it as my lifestyle diet). i usually get asked a lot of questions by my meat-eating family, all of which i am happy to answer. my aunt happened to ask me a question though i’ve been carrying around ever since that dinner:

what has changed since you went vegan?

well, as you know, i only decided to officially go vegan about a month ago. before my diet was basically 95% vegan with the occasional egg and bite of yogurt and cheese. but this question really got me thinking. i started to observe the last few months and came up with a few changes that really stand out to me.

*my teeth got whiter
*i no longer wake up with a white film on my tongue
*i have more energy
*i lost weight (not the most important, just something that happened)
*i haven’t been sick since christmas (not even a cold or stuffy nose)
*i sleep better
*the skin on my hands no longer cracks like it used to
*the rough part of my elbows is super smooth now
*come to think of it, most of my skin is smooth and bright
*i rarely feel lethargic after my meals
*oddly enough, my singing voice has improved (not that it was amazing by any means previously!)
*my hair grows SUPER quickly and is thick and shiny
*ditto with my nails
*my taste buds have changed (durr ;)) and i appreciate so many more types of food
*my culinary vision has opened immensely
*i don’t have as many, ahem, issues in the bathroom (i’ve always had a really sensitive stomach)

and those are just the ones that i can think of off the top of my head! isn’t it funny how changing your diet can completely transform your body?

now, i know not everyone who reads this little blog here is vegan. but i want to know, if you have changed your diet in any way, what have you noticed has changed about yourself?

i’m curious to know!

namaste!

zoe!

hello hello hello!

sorry i dropped off the face of the earth for a second there. i’ve been busy busy busy. seriously. it’s awesomely ridiculous.

before i launch into anything of great importance, let me detail the most amazing night of my liiiiife: the PAUL MCCARTNEY CONCERT!





he was so totally awesome i cannot really begin to explain. the band (five including paul) rocked the stadium (it was at att&t park — home of my giants!!). i seriously think every seat was taken. fo’ reals. not fo’ play play.

he played a lot of solo stuff and a lot of wings stuff i did not know too well. of course i knew live and let die and band on the run (thank you guitar hero!) but the beatles’ songs he played were wonderful. all my loving. ob-la-di ob-la-da. hey jude. i’m looking through you. blackbird (which he inform us was written in response to the race issues in the south during the civil rights movement. who knew!). something. back in the USSR. two of us (my heart sighed deeply). and others that are currently eluding me. just know it was fantastic. and our tickets were on the field! which was cool but my mom and i are short (she’s 5′ i’m 5′ 1″!) so seeing over all the tall standing people was difficult.

he played for THREE HOURS. STRAIGHT. there were two encores and MAN, he was so personable and funny. he told stories of his beatles’ days, of john and george. it was so, so, so much fun. my mom, dad, and i all agreed ringo should of made a guest appearance. but he didn’t. boooooo! no worries, i forgive him 😉

and as for other news, as of late life has felt full and satisfying. i am currently four days chocolate free (though i did eat some carob chips but that’s not technically the chocolate that kills me sooo…i’m allowing it until i finish the bag!) and already i feel a difference. my body feels lighter and my mind more clear. i am not having heavy mood swings or experiencing funks i simply cannot shake. i am honestly loving what i see in the mirror more and more each day. i wake up every morning and repeat to myself three things: you are beautiful. you are strong. you are capable. i repeat this several times until i feel myself believing it. so far, so good.

if i find myself caught in the comparison game, i remind myself how amazing my own body is and despite the differences, i am still just as beautiful as the body i am comparing myself to. this positivity has allowed me to see fully the beauty in my environment and the people around me.

a while back jackie wrote about the four agreements. since reading her lovely post, i keep them in mind almost at all times. i think about my words and how to use them effectively. i don’t talk simply for the sake of talking and monitor my words for gossip. i remind myself to not speak badly about people because i know i would not like that. practicing not taking things personally has been challenging but so rewarding. i used to make myself sick (literally. i got anxious to the point of feeling ill and unable to eat and sleep) worrying about why people reacted to me in certain ways. but now i just breathe and remind myself that it is not me, it is simply how that person choose to react to the situation. they could be in a bad mood and hey, bad moods happen. i know this for a fact. this goes too for assumptions. i work daily to not assume things, such as “s/he didn’t call/text me back because _____”. useless. unless you want to make yourself sick 😉

i getting stronger, in mind and in body. the other day, chaz, the awesome yogamazing instructor (check out the podcasts people! itunes :)), suggested writing little notes on your yoga mat, as his daughter decorated his. so i took the advice and wrote this at the very top of my mat:

i am getting deeper into my yoga practice and cutting back on runs (though i went on a kick ass 6.3 mile run yesterday!) because my body (and my mind and sanity) crave yoga more than anything right now. this message at the top of my (super cheap) mat has motivated me whenever i feel doubt coming on in difficult poses. try it and see what happens!

as for now, i just finished a great 75 minute power yoga flow (yogadownload.com!) and have plans to go grocery shopping! i worked from 4-8 today (yes, four in the morning! i was up at 3:15!) and it went so well! i started yesterday and today actually got to brew coffee and work the pastry case. it will be a while before i can do much else but those four hours FLEW by! i am already loving this job about ten million times more than my last one, where five hours felt like torture and inched by painfully, horrendously slow.

but have a good day, kidlettes! i have some interesting (at least i think! hah! ;)) topics i’d like to share and discuss with you in future posts! keep an eye out 🙂

namaste!

zoe!

beatles fun fact (because i suck at being consistent): Contrary to popular belief, the title for “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” was prompted by 4-year-old Julian Lennon’s description of a painting he brought home from school, not the drug, LSD. John Lennon has been said to have preferred Elton John’s rendition of the song, and played background guitar and backup vocals on John’s version, credited as “Dr. Winston O’Boogie and his Reggae Guitars.”

(oh and sidenote: i’m almost able to get into the foundation of a headstand!!!!!!)

good (very early) morning kidlettes!

i woke up at 5:30 today. yes. 5:30 AM. why? blame it on the a-a-a-alcohol (honestly though, i hate that song. i just couldn’t resist ;)). i drank a liiiittle too much last night and always have difficulty sleeping for long whenever i drink. i did sleep deeply though for about five hours so…oh well. worse things than being tired, right?

i woke up and did a little yoga for hangover via a yogamazing podcast. i really recommend the yogamazing podcasts! chaz, the instructor, is awesome. i emailed him yesterday telling him how much i appreciated and loved a flow of his i just completed and he even wrote me back! nice guy.

so remember when i said yesterday was going to be a good day? it was 🙂 two friends and i went on a long bike ride through a section of our little town none of us know very well. it was like being transported to another world! it felt partly like pleasantville (the movie! seen it? please do if you haven’t, it’s great!) but it was such a beautiful day. we couldn’t stop saying how pretty it was. we definitely left the area of my town where the college kids live if that gives a good mental image haha.

anywho, we biked until we found this!

see the vineyard? living around here is breathtaking sometimes.

then we found this little gem:

a community garden! i had no idea this existed. neither did my friends. it was a neat discovery.

we found a little bridge and a bunch of cool paths too. all of this existed right under my nose this entire time! i had literally no idea. new running paths? i’m thinking so. if you do anything today, go explore your town or neighborhood. there is always so much we miss when we drive on or stick to the main roads.

other pretty things:

wide open fields. and lunch!

when you run out of bread, brown rice cakes make a decent substitue. that would be two brown rice cakes topped with some hummus, half an avocado, and some cayanne. love me some spice. this was really tasty.

so you might be wondering why i titled this post be okay. let me explain.

a) it’s the name of an ingrid michaelson song i randomly just discovered. it’s light, happy, and bittersweet. kind of like where i am at in life right now.

b) binged lightweight. again. sigh. BUT I WILL BE OKAY. why?

because i’m not beating myself up about it. i’m breathing through it. i’m refusing to give up this positivity. no one can take it away but me, after all. plus i’ve read a few inspiring words as of late.

my friend in san diego lent me a book called yoga mind and body. it goes over poses, obviously, but also includes an entire section on “yoga diet”, recipes included! but the thing i found the most interesting was this:

in the section titled “you are what you eat” (so true) it reads “the yogic scriptures divide food into three types: sattvic (pure), rajasic (stimulating), and tamasic (impure or rotten). and, not surprisingly, chocolate fell under the rajas category. according to this book rajasic foods “arouse animal passions, bring a restless state of mind, and make the person overactive. they destroy the mind/body balance that is essential for happiness.”

um. can we say wow? i mean i know this. but seeing thoughts actually written out makes them much more real, you know? no wonder i feel so out of control and “animalistic” when i eat chocolate. it most definitely overstimulates me and causes me to eat more more more and loose that balance.

they also have a “rules of eating” blurb. the suggestions i found the most interesting were “try to fast for one day a week”, “do not overload you system. fill half the stomach with food, one quarter with liquid, and leave the rest empty”. the most important point, at least to me, was “eat to live — don’t live to eat”.

boy oh boy did that hit home. i feel like these past few months i have turned obsessive about food. and unhealthily so. i have been living to eat. honestly, it’s been hard to not think about food. in between meals i almost day-dream about what i am going to eat next. food is fuel for the body. it is medicine for the body. when you fill it with crap, you become crap. i need to remember this for the next thirty days during my up-coming cleanse. and i need to find new ways of igniting the pleasure center of my brain. food can become an addiction, as i am seeing, and i do not want it to become out of hand.

whew. LONG POST!

but guess what?

it’s all gonna be okay.

especially because paul mccartney is later tonight!!!!!

namaste!

zoe!