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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!

Category Archives: books

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

a few days ago, a friend of mine shared a link to a website showcasing a book his cousin helped write. the book, eat, taste, heal, is an ayruvedic cookbook. never heard of ayruvedic?

Ayurveda is India’s traditional, natural system of medicine that has been practiced for more than 5,000 years. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that literally translated means “science of life” or “practices of longevity.” It emphasizes prevention of disease, rejuvenation of our body systems, and extension of life span. Ayurveda views each and every person as unique, with a unique mind-body constitution and a unique set of life circumstances, all of which must be considered in determining either natural healing approaches or recommendations for daily living. This view is in alignment with the modern science which views individuals as unique in the universe with a unique DNA. According to Ayurveda, because we each have a unique constitution, our health prescription must be unique to us. This means that in order to be healthy, you need to eat certain foods that are beneficial for your body type and stay away from others. Your exercise program must be personally suitable as well. Your constitution determines very much about you – your body, your personality, even how you relate to other people. Understanding it lets you know what you need in order to be healthy.

last semester candace returned home from san diego a wealth of information on the subject. she seemed really into it and encouraged me to check it out. so i did. and i’ve been interested ever since. i am a bit skeptical of the authenticity of the ayurvedic diet, however, when my friend shared the link with me, he also explained to me how his cousin used to be resigned to a wheelchair from debilitating joint issues but since adopting the ayurvedic lifestyle and diet, he now walks and no longer suffers from his joint issues. to which i say: amazing!

and also: but was his ayruvedic diet what lead to his increase in health?

because the ayruvedic lifestyle acknowledges each body’s peculiarities, participants are encouraged to eat according to their dosha. what is a dosha, you ask? great question! this is the part i find most fascinating.

In Ayurvedic philosophy, the five elements combine in pairs to form three dynamic forces or interactions called doshas. Dosha means “that which changes.” It is a word derived from the root dus, which is equivalent to the English prefix ‘dys’, such as in dysfunction, dystrophy, etc. In this sense, dosha can be regarded as a fault, mistake, error, or a transgression against the cosmic rhythm. The doshas are constantly moving in dynamic balance, one with the others. Doshas are required for the life to happen. In Ayurveda, dosha is also known as the governing principles as every living thing in nature is characterized by the dosha. The three active doshas are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

according to ayurveda, vata, pitta, and kapha all reside in each of us but one or two are the dominant forces. instead of detailing the specifics of each dosha here, i am going to encourage you to investigate for yourself.

i will share with you what i found. i took a little online test to loosely determine which dosha was most prominent in me (i know, i know. online test = ridiculous. just bear with me here and just try i know how to apply my critical thinking skills!). after answering a long list of questions, the test results showed my dominant doshas to be vata and kapha. and, after reading the vata and kapha descriptions, i completely agree with. allow me to summarize:

vata

Creativity, mental quickness
Highly imaginative
Quick to learn and grasp new knowledge, but also quick to forget
Sexually easily excitable but quickly satiated
Slenderness; lightest of the three body types
Talk and walk quickly
Tendency toward cold hands and feet, discomfort in cold climates
Excitable, lively, fun personality
Changeable moods
Irregular daily routine
Variable appetite and digestive efficiency
High energy in short bursts; tendency to tire easily and to overexert
Full of joy and enthusiasm when in balance
Respond to stress with fear, worry, and anxiety, especially when out of balance
Tendency to act on impulse
Often have racing, disjointed thoughts
Generally have dry skin and dry hair and don’t perspire much
Typical health problems include headaches, hypertension, dry coughs, sore throats, earaches, anxiety, irregular heart rhythms, muscle spasms, lower back pain, constipation, abdominal gas, diarrhea, nervous stomach, menstrual cramps, premature ejaculation and other sexual dys-functions, arthritis. Most neurological disorders are related to Vata imbalance.

…every single one of those aspects are so entirely true. especially the health problems. imagine my surprise when i read about kapha…

Easygoing, relaxed, slow-paced*
Affectionate and loving*
Forgiving, compassionate, nonjudgmental nature Stable and reliable; faithful*
Physically strong and with a sturdy, heavier build*
Have the most energy of all constitutions, but it is steady and enduring, not explosive
Slow moving and graceful
Slow speech, reflecting a deliberate thought process
Slower to learn, but never forgets; outstanding long-term memory*
Soft hair and skin; tendency to have large “soft” eyes and a low, soft voice
Tend toward being overweight; may also suffer from sluggish digestion*
Prone to heavy, oppressive depressions* (not heavy, but definitely not light)
More self-sufficient, need less outward stimulation than do the other types
A mild, gentle, and essentially undemanding approach to life*
Sexually Kaphas are the slowest to be aroused, but they also have the most endurance
Excellent health, strong resistance to disease*
Slow to anger; strive to maintain harmony and peace in their surroundings
Not easily upset and can be a point of stability for others
Tend to be possessive and hold on to things, people, money; good savers.*
Don’t like cold, damp weather*
Physical problems include colds and congestion, sinus headaches, respiratory problems including asthma and wheezing, hay fever, allergies, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

kapha came after vata and it totally makes sense as to why. i do not have all the aspects of kapha though i do have a good amount of them (i starred them just incase you were wondering :)). food choices and exercise recommendations are also suggested. the food choices between kapha and vata are conflicting (i.e: nuts vs. no nuts). and vata’s are encouraged to avoid raw foods. uhh…not happening 🙂

it did say this about exercise though:

Regular exercise should be relaxed and moderate. Hatha yoga practice in a meditative mood is good, as are t’ai chi, walking, and swimming. Avoid strenuous, competitive, frantic activities. When possible, associate with people who are calmly purposeful. Meditate every day for deep relaxation.

to which i say: A HELL YES. it makes so much sense to me. competitive sports have always stressed me out (i tend to be overly-competitive) and yoga ignites this feeling of enlightenment within me, something i never felt while playing soccer or running. and in the past year, i have shifted away from people who live hectic, stressful lives. what did i see in return? a much more happy, lighter me. and i love meditation. i did some yesterday, in fact! (i’ve had to stay off my mat the past two days because i tweaked my back at work. it. blows.)

what do you think? do you think there’s any merit to the claims ayurvedic lifestyles support? or do you think it’s all a bunch of BS? did you look up your “dosha” type? what did you think?

it’s intriguing enough for me to at least test it out. i think i am going to do a little more research and try eating according to my doshas for a week. no use in not trying, right?

well, that’s it for the day. quite rambling, i do apologize. now if you’ll excuse me, i have an apartment to (deep) clean (CANDACE COMES HOME TOMORROW!!!!), a documentary to watch, and some meditating to do. have a good one!

namaste

zoe

hey kidlettes.

i don’t have much to say today, really. one of my really, really close friends just left this morning for his hometown (southern california) before he jumps ship to spain. for a year. i won’t physically see him until next august so i’m a little bummed and just kind of waiting for that reality to sink in.

so i think today i’m going to just leave you with some thoughts instead of delving into a giant topic.

remember the past few months? and how whiney and miserable i appeared? well, firstly i apologize for that. sometimes i forget how little i truly have to complain about. but i am only human (j. mraz says it best!) after all and sometimes it feels impossible to overcome that heaviness sitting in your chest. but we always eventually get past it, right? and i am happy to report the levels of happiness, wholeness and contentment i’ve felt lately have remained strong. i know i mentioned it before but the power of positive thinking is seriously phenomenal. my skin has cleared up. my depression has faded away considerably. my food anxieties have lessened. i smile more. i laugh more. i feel confident in most everything i do. and when i look in the mirror i never see the person i used to see. instead, i see a strong person staring back at me. i see a healthy, determined, happy individual.

in the mail the other day i received a copy of brendan brazier’s thrive. of course i immediately cracked it open! one of the first things he discusses is the power of stress. i never quite realized how powerful stress truly is. according to braizer, stress (obviously) inhibits happiness. it can cause a person to gain weight, breakout, feel tired and depressed, all things i experienced intensely these past few months. he also discussed physical stress and its impact on the body. he shared a story in which he overtrained his body and undernourished it in order to loose weight. instead, he gained fat and felt lethargic.

in applying this to my life, i clearly see now how running put my body under such intense stress. the more i pushed myself physically and undernourished myself, the more unhappy i felt, inside and out. my body went into a high stress mode and slowed my metabolism and effed with my sense of mental security. i know i’ve mentioned how wonderful i feel now that running and i broke up, but my body feels wonderful, too. i’ve lost that extra fluff i’ve been so worked up about (my girl still exists though, it won’t go away entirely. but i’m so okay with it :)) and i feel less tired and miserable. breaking up with running was the best thing i’ve ever done.

have you ever made a difficult decision which you eventually ended up benefitting from?

the other day at cafe gratitude (yes, hello. my name is zoe and i have an addiction) our waitress asked us the question of the day: “what are you letting go of?” my response? myself.

have a great day, kidlettes.

namaste

zoe

good, good morning kidlettes!

last night i found an interesting article. for the past three years i have religiously been reading the blog jezebel, a blog run by women. these women are smart. and funny. very poignant, too. last night, as i scrolled through their stories for the day, i stumbled across this one, titled “turns out, you have no idea what you really look like.” to which i was like, huh? excusame? yes i do!

the author, sadie, writes:

It’s not an Onion headline: not only do we have distorted views of said appendages, but beyond them, “women’s brains ‘massively distort’ their own body image, creating a shorter figure which can be two-thirds wider than in real life.”

and adds:

And what’s more, we – women, that is – also think the rest of our bodies are shorter and wider than they are, what the researchers call a “dramatic distortion” of our “position sense,” or the ability to gauge our bodies’ spatial relationships. As the piece points out, these findings could be useful to understanding – and therefore treating – eating disorders. And, hopefully, to contributing to realizing that these things shouldn’t be gauges of anything anyway, and so what?

Alas, this is not what readers seem to have come away with. The comments to the article are a veritable carnival of the sort of fruitless height-and-weight disclosures that serve to do nothing but drive home people’s obsession with measurements. Woman after woman takes the opportunity to share her weight and height, bemoan, compare, perpetuate the cycle. It’s disspiriting. And, comments one woman, seems to be, as the researchers suggest, a particularly feminine condition: “I think that some men have the opposite problem, the short, fat baldy ones often seem to think that they are Gerard Butler!” Gratuitous swipes at less Butler-like gents aside, it’s probably wise to remember that few of us can gauge correctly-in any sense.

to requote that woman, it is disspiriting. i know about body dysmorphia (and honestly think i suffer from it) but to think it might actually be a condition inherent in women? surely then, this massive war against our bodies and against self-love cannot possible be a random occurance. nearly every woman doubts her appearance and self worth at one time in her life. this leads me to wonder at what this speaks to of our society.

if it is indeed inherent in women, this is inherently bad. it upsets me yet at the same time, it makes complete sense. when you look at a friend who bemoans her appearance and you knit your eyebrows together in confusion at what she could possibly hate, it suddenly makes sense. how many times has someone complimented something about your appearance and you just smiled and shrugged it off, believing that person to be a complete liar? hell, how many times has someone complimented you period and you didn’t believe them? something’s up here folks, and i ain’t diggin’ the bad vibes.

we need to start viewing ourselves wholly. too frequently we zero in on our “flaws” and forget about how awesome and kickass we really are. we need to start seeing ourselves the way the rest of the world sees us. we need to start stepping in front of the mirror and see someone who is gorgeous. we need to start seeing someone who is smart. we need to start seeing someone worth loving, “flaws” and all.

what do you think? do you see this as an issue women in particular seem to face? do you face it? have you ever? what happened if you no longer do!?

whew. what a mouthful. sorry guys, i just really connected with that article. i struggle to accept the image in the mirror every day and always balk whenever someone compliments my appearance. (or otherwise!)

moving on!

so i have a little announcement: i’m going vegan! 100%!

i’m quite stoked. quite :)! i thought about it last night and kept thinking about it. it just makes sense to me. i rarely eat dairy as is and gave up all other animal products so. why not? i LOVE vegan already. i don’t think the transition will be a killer one 😉

plus, i’m extra amped because i ordered two vegan cookbooks last night from amazon! while visiting my friend in oregon over spring break, i raided his massive book collection and found two vegan cookbooks. the first one he said he had yet to make something out of.

vegan planet, by robin robertson. sooo i definitely spent a good night with my face stuffed into this book. oooh man her recipes look BOMB.

next up, what my (vegan) friend calls his “bible”:

vegan with a vengeance by isa chandra moskowitz. yeah i looked through this one too. um. there is DEFINITELY a reason why he calls this his bible. it might become mine, too.

lastly i ordered this one fo’ supa cheap just to see what all the fuss was about. plus, i looked through it a it and it made me laugh so i thought, why not!?

skinny bitch, by rory freedman and kim barnouin.

i’m really really REALLY excited! i just have a random carton of eggs to finish and a thing of greek yoghurt to go through and i’m officially a vegaaaan. pumped :)!

my body really likes eating this way. i feel healthiest when i avoid animal products. this might not be the case for everyone. i want to stress this because i am not doing this for diet reasons. in fact, i plan on eating a TON 🙂

anywho, i just got back from hot yoga. surprisingly today was really difficult. i had a tough time holding positions and i struggled emotionally. i think i was too aware of myself. does that ever happen to you?

luckily i made vegan banana soft serve overnight oats. that makes me a little happier. and i need to hurry up and eat and shower because i’ve got a fun day planned…GIANT’S GAME!!!!! my first of the summer!!!

GO GIANTS!! who do you root for :)?

namaste!

zoe!