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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: November 2010

after months of forcing my body to eat a certain way, move a certain way, and, essentially, live a certain way, i feel like i am relearning it. i am relearning what it agrees with and what it loathes. i am, you know, actually listening to it and not ignoring all the cues it sends me.

and, lately, i’ve noticed a lot of things.

like how i need to focus on taking the time to chew my food or i swallow without chewing thoroughly and end up uncomfortably bloated and gassy with a killer stomach ache.

or how i need to eat a dense, warm breakfast to stay energized for the first half of my day because if i don’t, i am prone to eating too much in one sitting during the later half of my day.

or that i have a really small mouth and taking big bits overwhelms me and i end up not chewing thoroughly or really tasting my food.

or how sometimes, i really do just want to eat sweets all day. and that this is okay. because sometimes, all i really want all day is vegetables.

or that going to bed hungry is not okay. i am still struggling with my weird eating “rules”. eating late scares me shitless. but i am recognizing just how bad it is to go to bed with a growling, in near-pain-from-hunger-knots type of stomach. i am hungry for a reason.

or how sleep is legitmately important because without it, i tend to make poor food choices.

or how well my body processes fish. sushi, my long lost lover, i am so happy to be reaquinted with you again.

or that i love, love, love raw vegetables but my stomach disagrees. it much prefers them cooked slightly. otherwise my body winds up constipated (tmi? my bad.) and bloated.

or how i need to limit my apple intake because the acid always leaves my stomach hurting a little and the fiber leaves me feeling too full and uncomfortable.

or that i really do love running, just not every day. and that yes, i can function just fine working out 6 days a week and working out three days a week.

or that i’m getting damn good at throwing together something delicious!

(VEGAN) PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CAROB CHIP CUPCAKES with PEANUT BUTTER CINNAMON FROSTING

what you need
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup peanut flour (trader joes!)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 t + 1/4 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup agave (or to taste)
1 T vanilla
1/2 cup carob chips (or however many you like. truth: i just dumped some in :))
1 t apple cider vinegar

what you need to do
preheat over to 350
line or grease a muffin tin
mix all dry ingredients together in one bowl. set aside.
mix all wet ingredients (except the carob chips and the apple cider vinegar) together in another bowl.
slowly add the dry to the wet.
stir until combined.
stir in carob chips.
drop in apple cider vinegar and stir no more than seven times. the acid is reacting with the baking soda and over mixing can make it not fluffy!
pour into muffin tin.
bake for 15-20 minutes.
remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for a few minutes before removing from pan and placing on a wire cooling rack.

for the frosting
what you need
1/2 cup peanut butter flour
1/4 cup + two T water (or more depending on personal consistency preferences!)
1-2 T maple syrup (or to taste!)
pinch or two or three of cinnamon (or to taste!)

what you need to do
stir everything together in a bowl with a whisk until well combined and at the appropriate consistency for you!

to quote my friend: “these are my favorite thing you’ve ever made.” aw, shucks.

what have you learned about your body when you really take the time to listen? what have you learned about yourself?

namaste

zoe

beatles song of the day: come together (abbey road)

(gonna start doing this every post! i’ve been literally craving this song lately!)

how was your thanksgiving? delicious and amazing, i hope. thanksgiving never prompts me to be more thankful than i usually am but it does prompt me to deeply consider what i am thankful for. and, this year, i am thankful for so, so much.

i distinctly remember last thanksgiving. i was newly 20 and it was my first meatless holiday. it also served as the beginning to a year-long struggle. i just had no idea at the time. i woke up excited. and anxious. thanksgiving brought with it family, happiness, and food. a lot of food. the irrational voice in my head concentrated on the food. “you know you’re going to eat a lot,” it told me, “so you better get your ass on the treadmill.” so i listened. i busted out something like 3-4 miles and felt like i could let myself eat that day. still, i remember carefully watching what i spooned onto my plate and what i allowed into my mouth. let me assure you, i did not “indulge” like i had during past thanksgiving.

as the road to thanksgiving, 2010, wound to an end, i felt a bit of apprehensiveness. though i am currently in a much healthier state of body and mind, old habits and old thoughts die hard. i am still mending my mind-body connection. but i woke up to a beautifully crisp fall morning, the kind where the mountains behind the mountains outline themselves against a soft, blue sky devoid of clouds. the kind where the sun hangs high and warms the earth just enough so you smile and slip into a lighter jacket. the kind where an odd combination of hope and eagerness sprouts in the pit of your stomach and in the cavity of your chest. the day felt purposeful and charged with positive energy.

i carried that positivity through the entire day. through the process of baking a cake/pie.

and cupcakes galore.

all vegan, of course 🙂

i carried the positivity through a 4.5 mile run. which i did because i wanted to, not because i had to. and only stopped because i needed to get ready! my runs as of late have been spectacular, but more on that later.

the positivity followed me to my cousin’s house in the east bay and stayed with me until i went to sleep last night. i cannot tell you how wonderful yesterday was. and how thankful i felt all day. all day. to be alive, to be present, to be happy and healthy and

so, here’s a couple of things i am incredibly thankful and grateful for:
1) my family. always. they’re amazing and patient and understanding and i’ve never known such strong unconditional love.
2) candace. she gets a category all her own. i am not sure where i would be without my best friend.
3) my friends. they’re amazing people, all of whom love my unconditionally and accept me for who i am.
3) my body. after months of abuse it has healed itself. i feel stronger and more at peace with it than i ever have. i love you, body!
4) food. because i do not fear it like i used to and recognize it’s healing and fueling properties. and how happy it makes me!
5) yoga. yoga saved me from myself. i will forever be grateful.
6) my home. i am so lucky to have a roof over my head right now as the temperatures continue to drop into the high 20’s and low 30’s each night.
7) my kitchen. enough said 🙂
8) the fact my dad swam a mile for the first time yesterday and the fact he choose to skip dessert because he was too full. (my dad has a lot of health to get back to, you guys. these little steps almost made me cry yesterday)
9) the health of my family, friends, and myself.
10) i am thankful that i have learned humility completely. it makes it easier to laugh at yourself and be silly.

11) and, i am thankful to see all of my high school friends later. this is the first time we will all be going out together since all turning 21. wish me luck!

oh, and, of course, i am thankful for you!

what are you thankful for?

namaste

zoe

weekend = amazing.

why?

friday day: a spectacular misty, rainy, foggy hike. nature woos me. always.


friday night: fun shenanigans with friends involving some adult beverages and children’s games. think uno and cranium. and silliness. lots and lots of silliness. and early morning baking adventures. and late morning kisses and confessions with a certain boy whose name starts with the letter k…

saturday day: cafe gratitude with my mama. wonderful food, soul-soothing company. we spent a good hour and a half chatting over our late lunch. i realize more and more just how lucky i am to have the parents i do.

especially when the first night of hanukkah present comes a little early:

can i describe to you in words the excitement i feel over this book? i don’t think i can.

saturday night: a short and lovely close at work (with said boy!) followed by a long and lovely night paired with a bottle of wine, apples to apples, and friends. and more kisses. lots more kisses.

sunday day: mid-morning brunch with boy followed by a trip to REI for NEW CLIMBING SHOES. gorgeous gorgeous climbing shoes. happiness spilled into the late afternoon and a three mile run turned into an unintentional, complete zen 10k. then family dinner. and lots of laughs and good vibes. which was washed down with two hours of rock climbing in my new gorgeous shoes with gorgeous boy.

sunday night/early morning: i am an idiot. i got boy’s car towed. karma karma karma. the universe smacked me in the face big time. 255 dollars and a monumental lesson learned later the boy and i had a big, big two hour conversation outside of the towing place regarding us and the future. to sum it up: he’s in a good place. i’m in a good place. we’ll be in a good place. we’re taking it slow. i am incandescently happy. (and a jane austen fan).

oh, and i’ve settled on my tattoo idea.

really though, are you surprised? not sure as to where i want this but it speaks to me and has since the moment i saw it on my first solo adventure into cafe gratitude earlier this year.

so even though it’s raining and all signs point to gloomy, i can’t help seeing the sunshine.

how was your weekend?

namaste

zoe

i am in love with my hips today.
i am in love with my tummy today.
i am in love with the sunshine today.
i am in love with the beauty of today.
i am in love with writing today.
i am in love with baking today.
i am in love with the universe today.
i am in love with me, today.

i feel strong today. and accomplished. and grateful. and appreciative. so very, very appreciative. today i am acknowledging all the wonderful people and things i have in my life (you included, loves!). i cannot tell you why or what prompted this, really, but i feel balanced and centered and oh-so-very-libraish right now. things are not perfect (are they ever?) but things are just right.

maybe it was my sun-warmed walk (can you tell i am a sun-child?) or maybe it was all the time spent in the kitchen today. maybe it’s the fact i am about to go rock climbing or maybe it’s the fact i am not working today. regardless of the facts i just know i am simply happy.

do you ever stop and take a moment to appreciate what you have and who you are? i urge you to do so if not! sometimes when we feel overwhelmed and caught up in negative energy we lose touch with all the positivity in our lives. simply taking a moment to recognize the abundance we have can help ease that negativity. i know it’s difficult sometimes when things feel bleak but a positive mind set is created just like a negative mind set is created. we can pull ourselves out of anything we work ourselves into.

so let’s creative some positive vibes, shall we? tell me, what do you love about today? what do you love about you today?

and before i go i would love to wish a dear friend of mine a very happy 23rd birthday! this gorgeous girl was the recipient of a home-made, vegan german chocolate cake…

i am not sure where i would be without my kitchen.

namaste

zoe

it’s been a morning. and a night. and i need to blog it out.

last night my job had its annual holiday meeting. basically me and my co-workers got together to discuss our holiday season (holiday coffee and holidays drinks and holiday hours). it was actually ridiculously fun. i am so blessed to work at a store where everyone gets along so well. we’re all friends so, naturally, we all went out following the meeting. we went bowling. but not just bowling bowling — we went drunk bowling. and then we went to the bars (my first bar outing!).

you guys i felt so normal last night. so, so completely normal. and so, so completely happy. i drank four beers. in big glasses. and thought nothing of it. not once did i think about the calories consumed and how empty they were. i didn’t calculate the number of miles i would need to run to burn it all off. i just let myself be. and by letting myself be, i was simply blissful. i like simple. a lot.

here is where the good vibes get a bit muddled.

remember a few weeks back when a boy debacle was mentioned? well, allow me to catch you up. (i am going to use the first letters of their names just to make this easier to follow. how gossip girl of me.) so, three boys are involved in this ridiculous drama of the human heart. j, k, and l, all of whom i work with. (pphhftt, the letters of the alphabet.) k is the boy my little heart has been set on for a long, long time. l was the boy i met at work. j is the boy who fell head over heels for me. now, this is what has happened in the months since i last mentioned these boys: still trying not to be smitten with k. l is dating another co-worker which rocks because i realized we’re better as friends. j…well, j will have his own paragraph. hold on.

(overly dramatic) k storyyy
k and his girlfriend broke up a few months back but still talk. i know, why bother with someone who is still tangled up in a failed relationship? guys i’m only human. i’m trying, but i am failing. i really like this kid. we connect on a ridiculous level. we’re pretty awesome friends. it’s evident we like each other but…i can’t have him. obviously. i don’t want to mix myself up in the back and forth of him and his ex. oh, did i mention candace works with his ex? and his ex has a lot (a LOT) of resentment against me currently? and hasn’t liked me since we first met over a year ago (when they were still dating?)? so i guess we’re basically hanging out to stroke each other’s egos. i feel ridiculous. especially because last night we basically never left each other’s sides.

add this to j’s situation.
j was the boy who took me out on a date i didn’t know was a date a few months back. today he came over, gave me a letter, and tried to kiss me. to which i responded immediately by saying “no! no, no! no!” and removing his hands from my face and taking a few large steps back.

i feel like i am in the wrong here. i feel like a bad person. i feel like i led him along some because i know i am a flirtatious person. it’s just my nature. but after this i think i need to work on honing it in a bit…

honestly, it threw me off all day. all day. my appetite vanished until just about a two hours ago. it made me kind of crawl out of my skin. the letter combined with the kiss attempt and the way he approached me this morning just made me feel so uncomfortable. and it really, really doesn’t help that i work with him tomorrow first thing in the morning. i called him already to see if we could set the record straight but…no answer. fingers crossed he calls back at some point tonight… we just talked. i told him i was flattered but kind of taken aback. he apologized, i reminded him he was human and makes mistakes. basically it’s all good, at least in my perspective.

by the way: his explanation? he saw k and i “getting tight” and just wanted to see if there was any chance at all. i expressed to him i understood what he intended to communicate, but did so in an inappropriate way. i told him to just simply tell me next time, that i liked simple, straight-forward communication, not theatrics. he also reassured me i did not lead him on and that he thought i wasn’t into him. whew. but still…

on a brighter note i ate sushi for dinner tonight. it was delicious. and exactly what i was craving. it really took a second for me to put the first piece in my mouth. once i did though it was all good things. i am happy with these little steps i am taking.

and i am happy for the new week. because, even though i had a wonderful, spectacular weekend (cafe gratitude trip, sunshine every day, 81 degree weather) it ended on a kind of abrupt and unsettling note. time for a new week, a new attitude, and a new set of opportunities.

i just finished a lovely challenging hour and fifteen minute flow that helped ease some of the anxiety and stress from my system. i feel more balanced and hope it will help me sleep. because although i am not dwelling on the issue, i just feel like it will be a bit awkward initially tomorrow morning at work. meh. regardless, i really got to get going. i’ve got some last minute poetry to write.

sleep well, loves. (and thanks for reading these ridiculous ramblings. it just kind of brought me down a bit today. i promise some recipes to come!)

namaste

zoe

happy veterans day! did you enjoy your day off if you had one? i sure did. as you all know, this past week and a half has been a bit of a struggle. i’ve wrestled pretty intensely with my inner negativity and sometimes it won the battle. it kept me from going out last night, which i partly regret. it allowed me to doubt my self worth, which we all know is never a good thing. but i am starting to settle a bit today. partly because of this:

i got a little free therapy in the form of beautiful scenery today. and rocks. lots and lots of rocks. you see, i went climbing outside for my second time today! although i adore climbing inside, climbing outside is a completely different experience. the paths are not set and you get to be a bit creative. and i love being creative. the weather gods smiled down on our little group of four today, too. though it’s the middle of november, the sky remained rain cloud free. we only experienced blue skies and a full, warm sun.

true story though: i carried the mental back and forth battle with me all day today. i found it difficult to just breathe through my frustration at some points. but in the end i ended up victorious. if i felt anxiety coming on, i just remembered one thing:

let it be.

i also remembered to find my center.


i think you should start getting used to these photos…

we ended the day at a wonderful indian restaurant. i got a ridiculously delicious okra dish. spicy. warm. okra-ey. so good. currently i am waiting on a friend for a little night time yoga sesh. gotta stretch out these tight muscles! just know i am on the path to feeling better (i’m going to say aunt flo visiting today has a lot to do with this…) and thank you for all your kind words. i really appreciate them. have a wonderful weekend, loves!

namaste

zoe

(p.s: can someone tell me why my horoscope for the day told me the following: “A wave of powerful physical energy may wash over you today. You may feel sporty and full of life and want to take part in games and group exercise as you move through your day. Because your vitality is likely soaring, you may want to vent your energy by engaging in high-energy activities.” um. creepily accurate!!!!!)

anyone else feel like their mood just drops once autumn shoves summer to the side and the sky finds itself overtaken with grey? i miss the sun. my body misses the sun. yesterday i spent the morning sipping tea and pretending the steady splash of rain outside my window was not real. on days like those it becomes all too easy for me to slip into a negative attitude and remain in my pajamas all day, completely motivation-less.

today i am trying to fight the funk. we’re currently wrestling. and i feel silly for saying so. yes, the good times come with the bad times, i know. but my “bad times” are all self-made bad times. you know the times — the ones where you crawl deep inside your head and lock everyone else out? the times you just want to lay on the floor and sigh all day? i am feeling it this week, folks. at least it’s sunny today.

and, like i said, i feel silly. i feel so childish and so wasteful. instead of embracing and enjoying the day and all its opportunities and all its potential, i choose to sink into self-consciousness. i allow my anxiety to creep up on me. you see, i’ve gained some weight. something incredibly asinine like 2 pounds. perhaps the saddest and most hilarious part? i am afraid to admit this to you guys. right now i am feeling uncomfortable in my skin. (and bloated. whoa.) from this uncomfortable feeling comes self-created judgement. i feel as if i am being judged because i am feeling insecure. admitting to you my weight issues of the moment leaves me with images of readers satisfied i effed up. and i’m just being honest here. that’s truly what is running through my mind despite knowing no one is actually doing that. talk about an insecure moment. i am dealing better with my anxiety. it does not completely ruin my days like it used to. but still.

this insecurity drives me to eat and eat mindlessly. it’s a comfort and right now i am feeling so uncomfortable and out of control (due to my diet changes. lots of reflection time has been spent on this so far). i have found that whenever i am sad or bored, i wander into a grocery store. there’s a connection, yes?

and while i am creating this misery, real tragedies are occurring. a friend’s dad just died. i saw a dead dog on the side of the road yesterday. candace’s aunt’s best friend just passed away as well. and here i am, complaining about the extra bloat i am carrying around. i feel selfish and unappreciative. so i’m going to acknowledge some things i am grateful for today:

1) the sunshine. thank you, thank you universe for giving me a day free of rain and a beautiful clear view of sonoma mountain. (it’s absolutely gorgeous today. you can see the mountains behind the mountains)
2) my legs. they just carried me on a massive head-clearing walk. and a calming hour of yoga beforehand.
3) my family. because i got to see them yesterday and some people don’t get to see their families ever.
4) my home. because it’s getting colder and at least i have a bed and a roof over my head.
5) candace. she’s amazing and giving me a good chunk of her time when i need someone to talk to.
6) for just simply being alive.

i’m trying, guys, i am. and i’m not trying to be mellow dramatic over here so i apologize if it comes off that way. i’m just trying to look on the bright side when i feel like there is no bright side.

have a lovely rest of your monday.

what are you grateful for today?

namaste

zoe