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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: December 2010

yesterday was rough.

although i am better able to regulate my moods around the time of my period, i still experience one to three days of intense emotional discomfort and insecurity. in order to grow and learn i think it’s really important to fully acknowledge and experience all of our emotions — good and bad. and yesterday was just about all bad.

you see, on monday night i kind of lost it. insecurity and my negative voice wholly took over and a binge took place (though i am happy to report this is the first in a long, long time. which means i’ve been really balances emotionally lately!). i was feeling incredibly uncomfortable in my skin and took it out on myself. i went to bed uncomfortable, unhappy, and disappointed. sometimes these things happen and i try not to be so hard on myself but i just felt like i let my body down. it’s not fair to treat myself so poorly.

i woke up yesterday in the same miserable spirits i went to sleep with. i spent seven hours at work wallowing, fighting that voice in my mind. sometimes this insecurity drives me insane. it can ruin anything and everything if i allow it to. and yesterday i just about let it do that.

i worked from 7:30 am to 3 and was so effing relieved to be off of work. i thought about my options. yoga sounded nice. deep breathing sounded soothing. instead i called up k and met him in san francisco at planet granite for an epic (seriously) two and a half hour climbing session. however i got lost on the way and i freak out when i’m lost. i freaked out at k, too. and then felt like the biggest bitch in the world. i apologized profusely for allowing my insecurity to project on him. nothing was his fault — i just let my emotions come out negatively.

a usual he calmed me down and we ended up bouldering and top roping in complete peace. and i most definitely conquered new territory. it’s really funny too because it’s been about three weeks since i last climbed (sigh) but i felt strong and capable the entire time. i wasn’t even too burned out at the end! i love, love, love climbing.

we ate at sol food (puerto rican food in my home town!) on the way back to school. was it late? yes. did i cringe a little for breaking a food “rule”? a little. but did i dwell on it in the end? nope 🙂

the night ended with some yoga and i got a fully, lovely eight hours of sleep. i am feeling so much better today. i just completed a fantastic hour and a half of yoga. first up was a session with chaz and then the newest free video of the week over at yoga today. loved, loved, loved it. all hip opening. i feel incredibly opened and settled. and much, much stronger in my person.

my favorite part of today? adi (the yoga today instructor) stressing this: every feeling is impermanant. how true and how fitting! though i felt awful yesterday and the day before, these feelings of insecurity didn’t last. i need to remember that in times of doubt.

additionally, one of my most favorite bloggers, lori, of what runs lori, wrote a beautiful and timely post today. she posted these “morning power questions”, questions meant to deepen your sense of gratitude and self-love. sounds right up my alley, right?! so, i’m going to answer them. i invite you to do the same!

The Morning Power Questions
(a la lori!)

1. What am I or what could I be most happy about in my life
What about that makes me happy? How does that make me feel?

i am strong. i am healthy. it makes me happy that i have the strength to lift myself into headstand and that my body helped me climb 60+ feet yesterday without falling on a route i never expected to complete. i feel grateful for this feeling of strength.

2. What am I or what could I be most excited about in my life now?
What about that makes me excited? How does that make me feel?

i am most excited for tomorrow’s road trip down to san diego (!!). i am going down for new years to spend time with candace (who is with her girlfriend, kat, who lives in sd) and our friends. i am so excited for the drive down, which i may be making alone. but solo drives are what i live for, especially when good music is involved. lots of time to think.

3. What am I or what could I be most proud about in my life now?
What about that makes me feel proud? How does that make me feel?

i am proud of myself for having the patience and willingness and openness to heal myself. i am happy to be working hard at simply being happy and accepting and seeing the abundance in my life. a year ago i do not think i would be able to have done this.

4. What am I or what could I be most grateful for in my life now?
What about that makes me feel grateful? How does that make me feel?

i am grateful for my family, for k, for candace and all my friends in san diego. i am grateful for their calming presence and their unwavering positivity that inspires me to only seek the same.

5. What am I or what could I be enjoying most in my life now?
What about that do I enjoy? How does that make me feel?

i could be enjoying the sunshine outside. i enjoy the warmth it brings and the brightness, especially after the absolutely ridiculous amount of rain from yesterday. it makes me feel hopeful.

6. What am I or what could I be committed to in my life now?
What about that makes me committed? How does that make me feel?

i am committed to change and accepting change. it makes me feel strong and powerless at the same time. i am committed to softening and it makes me feel content.

7. Who do I love? Who loves me?
What about that makes me loving? How does that make me feel?

i love my family. i love my friends, especially candace. it makes me feel giving and appreciated and compassionate. when i focus on love, all i want to give is love.

8. What questions can I ask that will add value to the lives of people I interact with?
What about that adds value to me? How does that make me feel?

i can ask how someone is doing, especially those who are serving me (like at a restaurant). i know these simple questions make me feel good at work so i like to think these simple, friendly questions help brighten other people’s days as well. it makes me feel happy and whole as well as giving and compassionate. i like to interact with others in positive, uplifting ways.

what would your answers be to these questions? have you even taken the time to sit down and contemplate the abundance in your life? where is your life over-flowing? in what areas is it lacking?

have a wonderful wednesday. i work at six but i think a yummy lunch and a trip to whole foods is in the near future.



beatles song of the day: all you need is love (the magical mystery tour)
why? because it’s pretty true, really. if you have love, you’re suddenly rich in all areas of life.

so i just spent a good forty minutes flipping through some of my favorite blogs. and i kind of noticed an odd response to the blogs more focused on diet and exercise and healthy living. i noticed an uncomfortable and negative competitive mood settled in my chest. i’m afraid i allow the content of blogs to spark up some unhealthy aspects of my person. meaning, really, i just start focusing on comparisons.

in all these holiday recap posts i am seeing people’s christmas dinner meals and mentally compare it to my own. i cringe when i see the amount of food in comparison to mine. i think, “god, she only ate that much? that much?” then guilt and shame appear in equal amounts and i feel inadequate, like i lost some game i didn’t realize i was playing.

i see some of my favorite bloggers writing about ways to stay motivated for work outs during the winter or what foods they’re eating now to counteract all the rich foods of the holiday season. these are all wonderful things but the controlling person in me wakes up when i read these posts. i suddenly feel badly for eating an extra treat and not exercising because the “holidays are over” and getting “back on track” needs to happen instead. i start saying, “okay, stop enjoying now.” i’m so tired of fighting against food and my negative self. i just want to enjoy with a conscience free of any fucking guilt. i want to restore my relationship with food, my mind, and my body.

and, if i am being one hundred percent honest with myself, i’m not sure reading these blogs is incredibly beneficial to my health and well-being right now.

i need to feel strong in all parts of myself. i know who i am and i know who i can be without this negative cloud always threatening to obscure my horizon. because there have been stretches of time when i am this person. this awful voice and this awful never ending cycle with guilt and shame and this need for control is holding me back from being completely happy.

and, if i am being honest with myself, i can say that i am a competitive and comparative person. and i can say that i know reading these blogs heighted these aspects of myself and brought me into unhealthy habits. and no, it’s not anyone’s fault but my own. because that’s how i allow myself to interpret these blogs and that’s how i choose to read them. negatively.

i think i’ve come leaps and bounds this past year. the journey of these 365 days has allowed me to grow and change and settle in so many different ways . i’ve healed so many parts of myself but i think there are parts that need so much more healing. a lot of these blogs stimulate and aggravate the parts of me i am trying to mend. i’m just letting my reaction to these blogs continue to nurture my negative person.

so i think i need to take a bit of a break for a while.

i think i need to do a little more growing before i can read some of these healthy living blogs. because their healthy intentions are only spurring in me unhealthy behaviors and emotions. i’m really working on just being. i am. and i feel like i am so, so, so close. i just need to get my priorities a little bit more straight, ya dig?

i’ll still post from time to time but i don’t think it will be much about exercise. maybe more about food. lots of food. and maybe more about yoga. and maybe more about the beatles because i’m pretty sure these things are what i always intended this thing to be about. so i think, i guess, expect some changes with the new year. because i’m going to be making some in my look nook of the california coast.

and, on that note, i’m going to go breathe it out on my mat. (did i mention k got me the most LEGIT yoga mat for christmas? he’s a keeper 😉 (and i’m the biggest dork you’ve ever met. i know.)). i might take a little walk to the bank because it’s sunny today and it hasn’t been in a while. and i’m pretty sure i might treck on down to cafe gratitude later because it’s my soul food. and my soul needs some good food. mmmm.

i hope you have a spectacular monday.



beatles song of the day: here comes the sun (abbey road)
why? because i’m super cheesy. and because the sun just came out after a lot of rain and it’s beautiful outside ❤

(p.s: and for the creepiest thing of the day: my horoscope. verbatim:

A desire for approval today could cause you to base your decisions on how they will affect people’s opinions about you. Building up a stronger belief in yourself might help you make decisions because they are the right choices for you rather than because they will impress others or be in agreement with their way of thinking. You might want to take time today to affirm your self-worth and focus on your strengths today. The better you feel about yourself, the less you will worry about what others think. You can then make the decisions that are best for you.

Having a strong belief in ourselves gives us the confidence to not let the opinions of others sway us when we make decisions. While it is natural to want to have others affirm or agree with our choices, basing our choices on other people’s reactions is not always the wisest approach to take. If we can practice being self-referential, we will develop a stronger sense of self. We begin to trust our instincts more and make decisions based on what works best for us instead of on what others may think. The approval we receive from others regarding our choices becomes a nice acknowledgement of what we already know to be true. Believe in yourself and your ability to do what is right for you, and you can trust that you are making the right choices regardless of what anyone else says to you today.

ikidyoufuckingnot. )

twas the night before christmas and all through the house, nothing was stirring…but zoe was in the kitchen. and no one was surprised.

really though, how else did you think i’d be spending my christmas eve evening? unfortunately i am not with my family at the moment. i volunteered to work on christmas (why starbucks needs to be open on christmas kind of astounds me. we’re open every day of the year. seriously.) because i live so close to home and i go home a lot and i know a lot of other people don’t so. plus we get paid time and a half i’m down ;). plus i’m off at 11:30 so i can still go home. tomorrow will be the first christmas i am not waking up at home. what a concept! i feel so…adult. gah, where is timing going!?!

so, to pass the family-less time, i cooked up some foods in the kitchen. some red food, specifically…

ever tried red quinoa? neither had i! so i bought some at trader joe’s the other day (on a trip originally planned for christmas shopping. FAIL.). and cooked some up for dinner tonight! wondering what the difference between red and white quinoa is? i was, too. the answer? nothing, really. red is a bit crunchier and chewier. but equally as delicious.

along with this red quinoa, i threw together this pretty red vinaigrette…

(inspired by cafe gratitude!)

what you need
1/2 C raspberries (mine were frozen. i warmed for 30 seconds in the micro.)
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
2 t basil
1 t oregano
1 t garlic (or to taste!)
2 t lemon juice
1 t agave
crank salt and pepper

what you need to do
through everything into a food processor or blender and let blend for a few minutes. allow it to sit for about ten minutes for the flavors to meld.

i drizzled a bit of this over that red quinoa that i mixed with roasted brussel sprouts!

paired this with a simple salad of romanie, sauteed zuchini, and garlic dressed with hummus. because hummus can be anything you want it to be.

oh, and sprinkled with chia seeds. because i’m trying to eat more seeds. i forget about them. i have hemp, chia, and flax seeds just kind of chillin’ in my pantry. i cannot ignore them any longer. because they taste good and are oh-so-good for you.

because i’m clearly on a red kick, i also did this…

okay so what we’re not allowed to paint our nails at work? it’s christmas. and i wanted to. shhhh, just don’t tell my boss 😉
so i’ve got some cookie recipes coming your way soon, too. gonna tweek them a bit but the test run went well. i cooked three types of cookies for my co-workers for christmas last night. one came out stellar, another really well, and the third was good but not what i hoped them to be. so be prepared. cause it’s about to get tasty up in heeeerrreee.

and, before i go, one more thought. today i woke up and weighed myself again. you’d think i’d of learned by now, right? i thought that too. i tried all day not to think about it. in fact, i managed to shrug it off half way through the way. i reminded myself i was still beautiful, healthy, strong and capable. i reminded myself nothing important about me changed.

but i ate one of my cookies. okay, so i ate four. or five. point is, i ate them. immediately after consuming them i was run over by the guilt truck. okay, it was more like i was plowed into by the guilt truck. i learned long ago to have this association with guilt and food. it was the culture i was brought up in, unfortunately. sometimes i am incredibly good at turning off that guilt, because there’s absolutely no need for it. food should never be regretted, only enjoyed. the guilt used to send me into mini-panic attacks which forced me to work out until i felt like passing out or throwing up. but i don’t do that anymore. i am slowly learning to disassociate with guilt entirely and just simply be.

today, however, i failed. miserably. in the last hour of work i found myself drifting around unhappily, awash in the negative thoughts occupying my mind. i silently cursed at myself for indulging, especially because i told myself i wasn’t going to. i was going to be a good little girl and skip the desserts. phft. lame.

so i came home depressed. i laced up my running shoes partly out of guilt today. i admit it. but once i started my run, i realized it was just what i needed. i zoned out completely and just flew. seriously, my pace was amazing today. i surprised myself.

which lead me to this realization: yes, i weigh more than i have in a while. and yes, part of it is winter weight gain. but the majority of it is new muscle. and healthy weight i needed to put back on in order for my body to function properly. the number on the scale and the appearance i grew attached to was impossible for me to keep. it was not a happy place for my body to be.

know what else i’ve noticed? i am stronger than i used to be. my endurance is up on my runs, in my flows (i can just about hold full boat pose!), on the wall. i am healthy. and so what if i ate a few cookies? i’m still healthy. and a few cookies isn’t going to change that. or kill me.

it doesn’t matter what my weight is, especially if i feel as strong as i do. it’s about how i feel inside, not how i look on the outside. i just need to remember that when i start to feel blue. how do i feel now? fine, thanks. i talked myself out of my sour mood with positive thoughts and dancing. and cooking.

what pulls you out of a funk? have any realizations lately?

anywho, i’ve got presents to wrap and more things to cook and a yoga flow to go through before bed. have a wonderful christmas, loves! and if you don’t celebrate, enjoy all the empty streets. it’s pretty awesome, actually 🙂 or come visit me at work!



beatles song of the day: ob-la-di, ob-la-da. (the white album)
why? because life goes on. even if you ate that cookie. ❤

well, i did it. i finally sacked up and brought my ass to the yoga studio i’ve been eyeing since summer. sometimes i let myself get a little intimidated and fall back on excuses like “oh, too much school” or “oh, too much work”. but now i’m out of school. so i was basically out of useless excuses. and who needs to excuse their mental, physical, and spiritual health anyway? not this girl!

though, i didn’t go at it alone. i dragged k with me 🙂 okay, not dragged. he willingly partook. but that’s not what you care about. what kind of yoga was it, you ask? heated vinyasa flow! a whole hour and a half! how was it, you want to know?


honestly, the time just slipped past me. the studio was gorgeous and has these lovely high ceilings and a deep maple wooden floor. there were no mirrors, either. instead, painted on the wall in front of us was a huuuuge om symbol. as well as a little alter filled with sparkling, beautiful crystals. additionally, the instructor was amazing. she was calming and encouraging. everything you could ask for in an instructor!

but the best part? she only adjusted me about three times, and on incredibly small things. know what that means? i’ve been teaching myself yoga correctly. what a thought! i feel super stretched out and wonderful. my butt hurts a little, too! i went deeper into poses last night than i ever thought i could. sometimes i surprise myself with my strength.

this class just reaffirmed for me that yoga is so, so for me. it is the way my body is supposed to move, it is the direction my life is heading. it is so important to me. honestly, there was a moment during the flow where i felt so overcome with emotion i teared up a little. i’ve finally found a solid calling, one which makes my soul happy just as much as my body. i’m so excited to continue attending regular classes and i’m ecstatic to begin yoga school. i.CANNOT.WAIT.

following the sweaty, soul soothing session, k and i ate a super yummy shushi dinner (because i realized i actually did not have the quinoa i intended on cooking. sigh.), showered, and met up with some of my high school friends for some bar action in san francisco! did i drink? yes. did i do it without thinking twice about the calories? you bet your pretty little behind i did! we drank. we danced. we laughed. it was a good time.

the funniest part? getting home just as candace went to work (she opened). i’ve had a pretty slow morning (slow to wake up, slow to eat breakfast, half hour of stretchy yoga courtesy chaz a la yogamazing podcasts…seriously recommend these!!!) so i gotta get moving. last minute christmas shopping anyone? yeah. chronic procrastinator. bad, bad, bad. plus i work at 4! so i really got to get a move on it!

have a wonderful thursday, loves!



beatles song of the day: no reply (beatles for sale)
why? because it just came onto my itunes. it’s a sweet little ditty. earlyish beatles. gotta love em!

ah, school and work free mondays. does it get any better than this? not really. spent the morning with k in the little town named sebastopol just north of us. drank a hemp milk latte and got some christmas shopping out of the way! tackled my dad’s gifts today and i am happy to report i scored! big time. bought my dad a lovely spread of grateful dead items…

(you can’t really read it but on the hoodie it says “san francisco somedate 1975…the year in which my dad graduated from high school in san francisco. he was and is (clearly) a dead head till death!)
and i indulged a little for myself, too…

(and yes, i’m feeling mighty feisty and fierce today if you couldn’t tell from the gestures and expressions!)

thank yoooou cali kind! i love, love, love this store! it’s also where i bought my tapestry a little over a year ago…

ganesh, the god of wisdom!

yes, i am born from a hippie. it only makes sense i am a little hippie, too 🙂

but, alas, hippie-ism and christmas presents are not the point of my post today. today i want to talk about health and what, exactly, it means. in the world of western culture, health tends to take on one main purpose: appearance. ever looked at those magazines lining the checkout stands of your local super market? you know, the ones doling out tips for flat abs and tips on how to avoid cravings and tips for being better in bed, at the work place, at the gym? the ones that thrive on telling you you’re not good enough? at anything.

can you tell i feel passionately about these magazines?

a few months ago candace and i subscribed to some magazines. we ordered yoga journal, vegetarian times, and women’s health, believing whole-heartedly it dealt with just that: women’s health.

imagine our surprise when we received our first issue. what type of “health” related articles did we discover? the same old shit we found in the pages of glamor and elle, two other women’s magazines: “how to blast belly fat!”, “how to get that dream bod — without any work!”, “ten diet DON’TS!”. we both found ourselves disappointed. severely disappointed. i mean, take a look at what came in the mail today…

(i originally had four saved from the past few months and they ALL LOOK THE SAME. but i couldn’t find them. so i apologize…just one and no comparisons :()

what did i tell you about those ab tips? and the looking better naked tips? and the 375+ smart new nutrition weight loss, health, fitness & style tips? in my (ridiculous, humble, unimportant) opinion, these magazines only serve to point out things for you to unnecessarily worry about. example? before college i never worried about the size of my pores or of my arms. come freshman year, i read an article about those two things and found myself fretting over my suddenly “large” pores and “chunky” arms. where’s the logic in that?

yes, i am aware that i happen to be a woman who is sensitive to these types of magazines (given my history with self-confidence) and i know not everyone reacts in the same way. and yes, i am also aware that these magazines do indeed help some women. but, again, it is my personal opinion that these magazines do not focus on health. they focus on shit like “looking great naked”.

additionally, today, while shredding it with jillian michaels, i noticed the shit she was saying: “if you wanna go jeans shopping, you gotta commit to this workout!” or “if you want to go bathing suit shopping, you gotta commit!” or my favorite: “what do we want? MORE CALORIES BURNED.” what, we don’t want to just simply feel good, strong, and healthy? every motivating thing she said relied on the physical. it was so. LAME.

my point is this: there is so, so much more to health than your overall appearance. what about the health of your insides? your mind? your soul? are these things not equally important? yes, these magazines do have articles about these aspects of your life as well but the articles do not have as many words dedicated to them as say, the fucking flatness of your abs.

if there is one thing i have learned it is this: flat abs do not, i repeat, DO. NOT. determine one’s overall health. i had flatter abs in the past. but i was also binging and restricting and compulsively exercising in the past.

over the past year i’ve learned so much about health and how personal it is. to me, health is how you feel internally. it is matching the beauty of your outsides to your insides. it is feeling strong, happy, and confident, in body, mind, and spirit. it is laughing, crying, dancing, smiling. it is finding your passions and chasing your dreams. it is everything these magazines try to make you forget.

it depresses me see just how much our society values a “beautiful” appearance. because beauty is objective. a few months ago kate, authoress of the incredible blog eat the damn cake, wrote about beauty. as a culture, we have these standards we silently hold everyone up to. we all believe the person sitting next to us finds what our culture thinks to be attractive, well, attractive. however, if you took the time to talk to that person, he or she would most likely answer with something along the lines of “eh, actually, i’m much more into x, y, and z.” we all hold individual ideas about beauty. that’s one of the best parts of humanity: we’re so diverse.

i just wish our popular magazines expressed that.

while women’s health gets me down, the fact that i have this makes me happy:

see anything about flat abs or diet tips? neither do i. and that makes my heart incredibly, incredibly happy.

what is your definition of health?



recent realization: i eat way, way too many nuts. and what happens when you eat way, way too many nuts? well, nuts are harder for the body to digest. so you get bloating (check). you get constipation (hah. check. for sure). you get an uncomfortable fullness (check). you get gas (check). you get indigestion (check). and you get an incredibly slow digestive time (aaaand check!).

with all these things in check (pun intended. why yes, i am a dork!), it’s no wonder i’ve been experiencing a lot of tummy issues. “they say” to eat one handful of nuts per day, two maximum. i’m preeetty sure i’ve overdone it in the past few months. why? because i love nut-butters. a lot. and because i am new to raw foods and nuts help replace things like meat and faux-meats like tofu and tempeh. i am in no way a raw foodie. i just love the way raw food makes me feel (save for all the nutty nut business.)

so i’m finally taking the cue from my body and cutting back on nuts. when i finish off my (costco) sized jaw of maranatha almond butter, i am not buying any more. ditto with the trader joe’s peanut butter (which i really don’t eat…i’ve noticed i am not the biggest peanut butter fan anymore! almond butter stole the show!) and with trader joe’s sunflower seed butter (sad day!). i will also be cutting back on the amount of nut-based raw desserts i consume (le sigh. cafe gratitude.).

additionally, i am cutting chocolate out of my diet — yet again. i felt so awesome for the month i stayed away from it. no crazy emotional mood swings, no break outs, no uncontrolable cravings for sweets. clearly chocolate (and sugar, for that matter) effects me negatively. additionally, sugar feeds into my body’s ability to develop yeast infections at the drop of a hat (tmi? sorry.). i’m pretty sure it’s a genetic thing so processed sugars need to be at a minimum in my life. when i avoided sweets (and dairy!) the instances of these infections dropped. i can always tell when i consume too much sugar because my body responds accordingly.

you might think i am being controlling and over-sensitive. yes, i am. and with good cause. because i don’t feel well. i feel bloated a lot. constipated a lot. uncomfortable a lot. i’m just a lot of things i don’t ever really remember being in the past. so i’m ready to listen to my body fully and see if i get somewhere. will i forever stay away from nuts? hells no! i love nuts. i think i need to incorporate more seeds into my diet in addition to nuts. and i am going to experiment with soaking my nuts and seeing if that aids in digestion.

i have a weird stomach and always have. i’m really ready to figure out what it doesn’t like and what it jives with. hello goal for 2011!

what have you noticed works well for you? anyone else have issues with nuts?

have a wonderful sunday! it’s raining over here. meh. looks like a treadmill run is in my future!



i realize how unnecessarily whiney i’ve sounded recently.

i have so much to be thankful for.

i was reminded of this yesterday during a fantastic, soul soothing yoga flow, curtousy of neesha from yoga today (it’s the free video of the week!). it was all centered on gratitude.

sometimes, when i wind myself up in the negative chatter of my mind, i lose touch with the important things in my life. yoga helps ground me again. i need to remember my weight does not define my character. it does not take away from the person i am and it does not determine the love anyone feels for me.

i forget i have the ability to focus on the positive as opposed to the negative. today i woke up calm and happy from last night’s yoga session. i decided from moment one to make it a positive day. and i have done just that! all smiles despite the rain clouds.

and, just so you know, i have been doing other things outside of worrying unnecessarily. like cooking! lots and lots of cooking. or, rather, uncooking…

first up: HUMMUS! because i ran out and had two cans of garbanzo beans sitting around. well, one and a half, really…

cilantro jalapeno hummus

(looks kind gross but i assure you — it is not!)

what you need:
1.5 cans garbanzo beans
2 T olive oil
2 t cumin
1.5 jalapenos
1/3 C cilantro (loosely packed)
two garlic cloves (or to taste)
juice from one lemon
few shakes of salt, or to taste

what you need to do:
blend everything together until smooth! i let mine to chill in the fridge overnight to allow all the flavors to settle and meld. just ate some with my lunch! mmm, so good on carrots and mary’s crackers!

next up: dark chocolate peppermint cookies! these are not, unfortunately, vegan. i made them for a co-worker for secret santa and they have an egg in them. easily made vegan with egg-substitute!

what you need:
1 cup all-purpose flour (or spelt. round one had spelt but since they were not for me, i used the all purpose!)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup vegan cane sugar (whole foods brand!)
1 egg (to veganize use a flax egg or a chia egg!)
1/4 t peppermint extract
1/2 dark chocolate chips
2 crushed up candy canes

what you need to do:
preheat oven to 375
combine all dry ingredients in one bowl
combine all wet ingredients into another bowl
slowly add dry to wet and combine until smooth
dump in chocolate chips and candy cane and mix in till well combined
plop onto a greased cookie sheet
bake for ten minutes and remove immediately onto a cooling rack

finally, my most favorite: RAW VEGAN CARROT CAKE!

unfortunately this is not my recipe. it’s cafe gratitude’s. is anyone surprised? didn’t think so. i did change it a little bit, though. it called for goji berries which my local market was out of so, because k is a genius, we added dried golden raisens and dried pears. so good!!!! plus the cream cheese frosting from cafe gratitude made the cake that much more delicious. here is it unfrosted:

mmmm, so filling, so delicious. just had some as my post-lunch dessert 🙂

anyway, because i am feeling so very thankful, here is a list of what i feel particularly grateful for right now:

the ability to run four miles without cringing from knee pain
my kitchen
candace, my forever understanding and loving best friend
k, whose mere presence (and hugs) presses the anxiety right out of me
neesha, the wonderfully positive and uplifting yoga instructor from
my mat
my family
the amazing people i work with
and, of course, as always, YOU. i am so grateful to have you, my readers. though there are not too many of you, i seriously appreciate the fact that you’re listening. thank you so much. it really does help.

anything you’re particularly grateful for today? anything fun you’ve created in the kitchen lately? tell me about it!

anyway, now that i am off of work (4:30 am to 12:30. SO. BUSY. standard saturdays…) i plan on a bit of a work out later. running perhaps? or rock climbing? or maybe both. regardless, yoga will be involved today! it’s raining but that won’t stop me 🙂 have a lovely saturday, my loves!



beatles song of the day: i’m so tired (the white album)
why? because i woke up at a 4. i’m tired. and it’s a groovy song.

oh, and just because: remember hansen? well, they’re actually kind of talented. at least i think so 🙂 just rediscovered this song. and no, it’s not mmm bop. (thank the universe.)

sometimes, i wish i cared less about food.

sometimes, i wish it wasn’t what i day dream about. i wish it didn’t matter to me. i wish grocery stores and farmers markets and restaurants didn’t excite me like they do. i wish it wasn’t my passion, my obsession, my best and simultaneously my worst friend.

i hate food almost as much as i love it.

awful thoughts have been circulating through my mind recently. i’ve spent days attempting to put together a post to articulate what i am currently struggling with. the negative voice in my mind still has a voice, and that upsets me. particularly because its strength is only growing.

after meals i find myself calculating. adding up rough estimates of calories. what, in total, i consumed for the day. how i need to move to get all the food off of me. the other day, in the tail-end of a teary breakdown, candace reassured me “everyone has things they feel the need to control.” to which i responded: “yeah, i just wish mine happened to be more proactive for my life.”

i am feeling the need to control intensely. i am not happy with the bit of winter weight settling on my frame. (i know. vain and superficial. i’m trying here, guys.) i know it is normal and i know it should not bother me, but it does. and i am not happy.

and i am not happy about my relaxed attitude towards sweets. i’ve been consuming too much sugar (in the form of dark chocolate, carob chips, frozen yogurt, soy drinks from work) and it’s showing up on my face, in my mood. i forget just how sensitive i am to it. i’ve been breaking out more than i have in months and i feel puffy and not too great. i have no problem with eating sweet foods (hello cafe gratitude! and hello home-made, sugar free, raw carrot cake sitting in my fridge!) but i do have a problem with sugar, specifically white sugar.

it’s also a mental problem. i recognize that. if i tell myself i cannot have something, i overeat it when i do. it’s not a good habit or a good mind set. i know i am perpetuating the disconnect between my mind and body.

my mom and i shared a wonderfully honest and raw discussion the other day. i am so happy to have someone in my family to talk to about my struggles now. and my mom understands better than most because she experienced the same issues when she was my age (though to a lesser degree. and, i would argue, still does to an extent today.). anyway, we agreed it would be best for me to keep seeing a counselor. unfortunately i cannot see the woman i was seeing at school because with graduation comes the loss of using on-campus resources.

so yes, i am feeling unsettled in these winter months. i am attempting to settle myself once more. to do so i need to listen to my body. sometimes i eat foods i do not necessarily want (like sugar) just because it’s there. but lately, all my cravings have been for fresh and raw foods. i need to start honoring my body’s cravings. i also need to start honoring it through exercise. i’ve allowed winter to make me a bit lazy, i’m afraid. i miss my mat! and my running shoes. and rocks.

so today i am going on a trail run/tree climbing adventure with k. we ran across the golden gate bridge the other day (super fogless on an otherwise incredibly foggy, grey day!) and it was so much fun! it’s really fun having a running partner. and one who likes to climb trees! i’m trying to make my movements fun and interesting, if you couldn’t tell.

anyway, thanks for listening, loves. i’m trying over here, i really, truly am. some days are just harder than others, you know? have a good friday.




you all know i love it. i call it my saving grace. and i do so for a reason.

december marks yoga and my’s one year anniversary. one year ago i flipped on an exercise tv yoga video and tilted back into my first (awkward) downward dog. from moment one, i knew i found something special. but my journey with yoga blossomed and shifted as much as i did mentally, physically, and emotionally this past year.

admittedly, i first attempted yoga purely for a new work out. i wanted to be flexible. i wanted to be “sculpted”. i wanted to be like all the “sexy” yoga ladies i always saw tucked away in the pages of magazines. furthermore, when i first edged my way onto a mat, i used yoga in addition to my daily runs and daily work outs. i never did it on its own because, in my naivety, i believed it did not deliver the same benefits as pounding out seven miles.

as december 2009 unraveled into the new year, i unraveled from myself. i lost touch with the important aspects of life and found myself focusing on the superficial. i spent countless minutes and hours and days worrying over frivolous elements that only brought me pure unhappiness. during this time i lost touch with yoga, dabbling only on random days when my knees hurt so badly running was simply not an option. either that or i found myself huffing and puffing reluctantly through a flow because i binged and the guilt complex forced me to compulsive exercise.

however, as running continued to destroy my knees and drain the vitality, happiness, and harmony from my soul, i finally reached a breaking point. over the summer i woke up one day and knew i needed to stop. everything. i needed to stop running, i needed to stop restricting, i needed to stop bingeing. i needed to rediscover the person i lost somewhere in the months of 2010. so i turned to a long lost friend for guidance: yoga.

i woke up every morning and committed myself to my mat, if only for twenty minutes. the first few weeks were challenging. anxiety gripped my being and the negative voice in my head whispered to me about all the weight i was going to gain, all the damage i was going to do, all the hard work i was going to ruin. it told me all about how ugly i was going to become. but something else, that sliver of positive energy, told me not to listen any more. sure, some days break downs were inevitable. but the first unstable months proved to me just how wrong that negative voice was.

with the aid of yoga, i sunk my brittle roots into an unfamiliar solid ground and grew. i dug deep and sprouted into a new consciousness. i struggled up from the bottom but somehow broke through the surface. the more i reached for the sun, for that positivity i long ago lost, the more whole, centered, and peaceful i felt.

i’ve cried on my mat. i’ve dissolved into laughter on my mat. i’ve fallen asleep on my mat. i’ve eaten on my mat. i’ve found strength i never knew i had. my mat feels like a home away from home. yoga has taught me to cultivate patience, forgiveness, and love, among other things. it has grounded me in a new understanding of myself, of others, and the world around me. without yoga, i am not sure how happy of an individual i would currently be.

i am in no way perfect. this is quite possibly the most important lesson yoga has taught me. i still experience anxiety due to the negative chatter of my mind. whenever i feel out of control, instead of binge eating or not eating at all, i turn to yoga to find myself again.

as the new year approaches i find myself so deeply grateful for yoga and all it has given me, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. i will forever be thankful because, as you well know by now, yoga saved me from myself.



beatles song of the day: dear prudence (the white album)
why? because the sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful, AND SO ARE YOU


remember the big fat paper i was dreading? sat down yesterday and pumped out 12 pages in 4.5 hours. solid concentration. soliiiid. how happy am i? well, happy might not be the right adjective to describe it. i am thrilled. elated. blissful. all the synonyms of happy times fifteen. sigh. truthfully it has yet to really sink in. i think it will come next semester when everyone else zips up their backpacks again and i suddenly find myself with much, much quieter week days. i’ll cross that bridge when i get to it.

but i cannot believe my academic career is over (for now). college whizzed by in 3.5 years. three and a half years! i want to say that’s pretty major, especially considering the budget cuts.

so, are you wondering what i am going to do now? well, good question. i’m wondering, too. work is definitely in my future. lots of it. i am going to continue barista-ing at starbucks for the time being until life pulls me in another direction. culinary school and completing my first 200 hour yoga certification course are also floating on my horizon.

really, though, i am just excited to settle back into a routine. it’s been a second or two since my last post so allow me to fill you in on what i’ve been doing: stressing out. and loving life, of course. but school has caused me to feel a lot of anxiety. it has disrupted my work out and eating routine which, as you know, i am pretty uncomfortable with at the moment. i’m working on it, i promise.

i’ve also been listening very carefully to my body. if i want to run, i run. if i want to do yoga, i do yoga. if i want to sit on my butt and watch a movie or read, i do it. i am actively working to judge myself less and allow myself to live more instead of structuring my life around work outs. working out is important to me because health is important to me, but i cannot allow it to take over my life like it did this past year. i learned my lesson.

i’ve also been rock climbing. a lot a lot. i am in love with rocks. and climbing them. i bought real shoes (for a hefty price) and it was so worth it. i am having so much fun challenging myself and it reminds me so much of yoga! so many similar principles: controlled movements, breath to movement, core strength, balancing, quieting the negative chatter (and chatter in general) of the mind. i love love love it.

i’ve been running some, too. and loving every second of it. i feel such a difference in my runs and my endurance simply based off the fact that i refuel now. and do so properly. my runs, once again, bring me the happiness i initially found in them.

i’ve also been hanging out with k a lot. like…a lot. pretty damn happy, you guys. it’s been a long time coming (this union and this happiness). i finally feel ready and able to fully share myself with another person because i have reached that level of comfort (finally) with myself to just be okay. and to just be. we’re still unlabeled and i like it just fine this way. no need to rush.

anyway, enough about me. how are all of you? how are finals, if you have them? how is life in general? i promise to be a better blogger now that i, you know, actually have time and everything.

well, i’m off. spending the day in the east bay babysitting my two year old cousin. i’m excited to see him but i am more excited about the beautiful weather (that i don’t really get to enjoy…). it’s cold, but it’s sunny! have a great saturday.



beatles song of the day: she came in through the bathroom window (abbey road)
why? because i love this song. and because i’ve been playing abbey road non-stop lately…