Skip to content

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: family

well, i am thinking a few things.

i’m thinking spicy veggie nachos should be eaten every day.

i’m thinking steam burns hurt. really, really badly.

i’m thinking about how amazing and beautiful this book i finished today is.

i’m feeling more things than i am thinking, though.

i’m feeling accomplished for being binge free for three days in a row and proud for catching myself at the beginning of one this morning.

because, you see my loves, this morning i woke up late. like, 11:00 am late. who am i?

i woke up feeling sad.
i woke up feeling anxious.

i’m feeling guilty for cutting my 90 minute yoga session short. the negative chatter in my mind was too distracting to finish the last forty or so minutes of movement. i caved to the negative.

i’m feeling heartbroken, because i allowed myself yesterday to acknowledge just how heartbroken i really am (about k…)

i’m feeling doubtful, of myself, my purpose.

i’m feeling incredibly uncomfortable in my skin.

i want to be this girl again:

this girl is happy. she is balanced. she is in love with life and its endless possibilities. and she’s in love with herself. she weighs less (truthful things i don’t feel like thinking or feeling about right now).

and, you know, i should be happy. yesterday went pretty well. i climbed my first v3 rated bouldering route. i basically decided the cute boy at the rock wall definitely thinks i’m cute. i’ve been feeding myself well and listening to my body. i’ve been moving in ways i like, not in ways i think i am “supposed” to be moving in. i’m moving through life right now but doing so feeling kind of empty.

earlier i talked to my mom. about everything. she told me something i can’t quiet shake out of my head: “you’re not thinking, you’re feeling.”

she couldn’t be more right.

i am feeling alone. i am feeling “fat”. i am feeling empty. i am feeling unworthy. i am feeling doubt. i am feeling sad. i am feeling so much i am forgetting to think.

about how loved i truly am.
about how much support i have.
about how worthy i am of life, love, happiness, and all the good bits and pieces in between.
i’m feeling so much i am forgetting to focus on what i have as opposed to what i don’t have.
i’m forgetting my body is an amazing thing, not something i should feel so miserable about.
i’m not thinking about all the possibilities life has for me right at this very moment.
i’m just not thinking.

right now, though? well, it’s a wonderful time to start thinking and forget feeling for a moment. the best way to do that? spend a night on the dance floor with your friends and some dubstep. have a safe saint patricks!

what are you feeling instead of thinking?

namaste

zoe

i never used food to punish myself in the past few days. though completely stressed this entire week, binge eating rarely occurred (maybe once, and on a very low scale). healthy eats seemed to be all i wanted. my comfort foods = carrots and hummus. funny how comfort foods change after living a new lifestyle for a year and a half.

i’m enjoying running again. maybe because i’m running to feel alive instead of running to punish myself or simply to burn calories.

…i‘m not worried about the number on the scale, even though it’s ten numbers up from where i thought i should be. i only seem to shrug it off every time i step on it. maybe it’s time to chuck the damn piece of useless plastic, huh?

i’ve maintained my current weight for three months. without trying. clearly my body wanted to be here all along.

i’m kind of in love with my curves. i can’t fight my genetics anyway and this is so obviously how i am built. my 34 D boobs stayed 34 D no matter how small i got last year. an indication? yes, i think so. do i want to lose weight? no, not necessarily, but i do want to tone up. that being said, however…

i don’t, and won’t, force the issue. i’d rather focus on being happy instead of focusing on (and obsessing over) my appearance. if i happen to lose weight along the way, cool. really though: whatthefuckever.

plus all my clothes still fit, anyway. just differently. meaning, they actually fit instead of fall off.

i look forward to all my work outs. i no longer see them as a chore that must be done but as an opportunity to feel alive. the feeling i get after moving my body cannot be compared to much else.

i’m still a little anxious when i look in the mirror of put on a pair of jeans. but then i remind myself i’m healthy again, and that this is what healthy people look like. and then i feel better almost immediately.

the negative moods i always seemed to swim in in previous months rarely strike me. and yes, i am enjoying this reemerging surge of positivity i thought i lost a long time ago.

interestingly enough, life feels a lot brighter and lighter. yes, some days i struggle but those days pop up infrequently. i am feeling stronger and more brave each day. do i still have issues i need to work on? of course. everyone does. but the difference between the me now and the me of months passed is that i am choosing positivity instead of negativity. i’m choosing to focus on the things in my life that really matter. like health and happiness. not the size of my waist, hips, thighs and stomach. that’s all just too stressful, don’t you think?

and, interestingly enough, i don’t think i can answer this question so well…

well, ten years is a long time for now. i hate looking into the future simply because i don’t know what’s going to happen. i don’t want to assume, i don’t want to say ‘i hope to be doing x, y, and z’ because i know that i’ll be changing so much in those ten years. i’ve changed so much in the four plus years i’ve been out of high school. it’s astounding.

but, i guess to give you a general impression of ‘where i want to be’, i’d say i’d want to be in a comfortable place in my life where i am truly happy. where i am doing something i love. i want to be feel supported by the people i love in my life and vice versa. i want all these superficial worries of mine to be non existent. and i want to give — my time, my love, my heart, my compassion, my energy. will all this happen? i don’t know. but i sure think it will!

hope you’re all having a wonderful saturday. me? well, i got off work about an hour ago, just ate some lunch, and am about to shred it with jillian michales before i go rock climb with some friends and drive on home for a little visit with my parents and one of my best, best, best and oldest friends (2nd grade!). enjoy the sunshine! (if you can at least…if you can’t, well, enjoy a picture of a warm beach while you cuddle up with some tea :))

what interesting things have occurred to you recently? where do you ‘want to be in ten years’?

namaste

zoe

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

i’m alive! barely 😉

i just woke up. it’s almost one. someone needed some sleep! let me recap for you, shall i?

on friday morning i woke up to an empty house (candace has class from 8 am to 11:40) and did so slowly and leisurely. low hanging, deep grey clouds threatened to spill rain at any second. i don’t remember the only other year it rained on my birthday — i was three. so already the day felt a bit different, a bit sleepy. the first thing i did after brushing my teeth was turn on the beatles ‘happy birthday’ and jumped around my living room. then i made breakfast. a birthday breakfast, of course!


angela’s spelt pancakes topped with almond butter and bananas. and my very first homemade chai tea latte! (chai tea bag topped with steamed almond milk). i followed my favorite hippie’s strategy and used our immersion blender to get my almond milk all frothy and delicious. it was awesome!

thanks for making my birthday breakfast special, angela and elise :)!

honestly, i spent the rest of the day just kind of lounging around the house. i really enjoyed relaxing and taking the day slowly. around three thirty candace and i left for dinner. my parents, brother, candace, and i went to millenium, a vegan restaurant in san francisco. i forgot to take pictures of the food but just know i got my dad, a passionate meat and potatoes kind of foodie, to admit it was delicious. and that he would go back. enough said.

and i got to have my first legal drink! cheers!

and see my family

and blow out birthday cake candles

twice.

(note my friend ryan’s expression. he’s the guy on the left. kind of hilarious.)

oh yes my friends, the birthday party was a dress up party. this happened.

and eventually this happened

oh my. alcohol, you’re hilarious. truth me told i remember every moment of my 21st birthday night. i did not drink much (i don’t have to to get drunk! leightweiiiiight!) and truthfully didn’t really want to. i’m not a big fan of alcohol. especially the next day when i woke up with a late night birthday cake and too much beer belly. yesterday i barely ate a thing. i hate that alcohol takes away a day! but it was worth it. oh was it ever 🙂

and on top of everything, i went to a sports bar with my cousin yesterday to watch the giants game. i felt like (and most likely was) the youngest person in there. i lost an earring. one of my favorites. i felt puffy and tired and slightly nauseated. but you know what made all that go away (besides a beer? or two?) THE GIANTS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

best.birthday.present.EVER. ever ever ever! the last time we were in the world series i was in the 8th grade. and we only needed one more game to win. we were ahead something like two games. and we LOST. heartbreaking. fingers crossed for a redemption!

anywho, it’s still raining and i’m still in bed. i think i need to motivate my butt to get up. we’ll see if i can 🙂

have a good sunday, loves!

namaste

zoe

yesterday i spent the day in my lovely city by the bay. first i pit stopped at home though and went on a little hike with my brother! do you have siblings? isn’t it weird watching them age? my brother and i are four and a half years apart. we never spent more than one year at the same school together (i started school when i was four, he when he was five) and never really got along swimmingly. well, i mean, we did but you know how it goes, annoying little brother wants to invade every moment of your privacy because he loves you but you’re too “adult” and too annoyed to really see that. but i love spending time with my brother now! he’s driving, which freaks me out. he’s going into his junior year of high school, to which i say “um, what?” the more time passes, the more we have to talk about. it’s really refreshing, this new relationship we have.

but, onto the day in the city…

yesterday felt amazing all day. i think i wore a silly little smile the entire day. even though i abandoned the sunshine in favor of the fog, nothing could wipe that grin off my face. i felt light in my entire being. i started the day with some yoga, so maybe that’s it. or maybe it’s the fact i’m treating myself well (finally). or maybe i’m just truly focusing on being happy. regardless, something about yesterday clicked.

i spent the late afternoon, evening, and night with a close friend of mine from high school. she goes to school in new york and rarely comes home. she also spent the past semester in prague. i have not seen her in nearly a year so it was quite a treat to catch up! i took her to cafe gratitude in san francisco (did you expect anything less????), which she loved. and yes, i most definitely bought a slice of their layer cake, which happened to be a chocolate strawberry whipped “cream” frosting. oh.my.god. seriously blew my mind.

but the high light of the day came towards the end of the night, when she showed me an amazing piece of poetry. anyone else obsessed with spoken word? spoken word poetry, or slam poetry, moves me in such a deep, emotional way. i love watching talented people sharing their talent. you see their love for their craft and it just makes a profound connection. like this piece called “barbie and ken 101.” the kid who wrote it hails from the bay area (berkeley) and every word he said related to my life so much i really wanted to share it with you all. that, and because it’s absolutely beautiful.

(warning: he does swear, so if you find it offensive, can’t say i didn’t warn you!)

and now i’m off to work. 11:15-5:30. i plan on scratching my baking itch pretty hardcore when i get off work. i’ll let you know how it all turns out so stayed tuned!

namaste!

zoe!

happy monday to you all!

after opening at work the past three days, i finally have a day off! feels good. i just completed a thirty minute basic pilates mat work video. i think a certain pilates enthusiast might be proud of me 😉 and i am now slurping down a beautifully purple smoothie in a bowl. fruit for breakfast = a happy, happy me.

you know what else equals a happy, happy zoe? sunday morning farmer’s market in my home town! after work (5 am – 9…flew by!) i sped home to meet my aunt and my dad at my hometown’s farmer’s market. it’s a pretty big one and yesterday it was so crowded. but it still rocked. i ended up with a huge (2 dollar!) bushel of kale, some assorted summer squash, four bags of raw crackers, a bitchin tomato (i forget what kind :(), and some organic basil. i also proceeded to eat a million peach, plum, and nectarine samples which were followed by a spicy avocado wrap from the raw foods stand. oh, and i most definitely flirted with the guy running the squash stand. he may or may not have influenced my decision to purchase said squash 😉

something i noticed yesterday: i ate about 96% raw! fruit for breakfast. raw spicy avocado wrap for lunch. apple and carrot for a snack. massaged kale salad with raw yellow squash, homemade farmer’s market pesto, peas and raw crackers. and, since i was in town, a slice of raw layer cake from cafe gratitude. the only non-raw things: some almond butter and some hummus. i felt awesome all day. raw foods agree with my body very well!

okay, okay, on to what you’re really curious about…

my falafel recipe!

well, i shouldn’t say my recipe. i adapted it from isa chandra moskowitz’s recipe. she’s the author of this book i absolutely love:

but to get her recipe, i recommend getting her book. it’s awesome. here’s the way my vegan, gluten free falafels went down:
what you need
2 cup cooked chickpeas (i used up all the ones i soaked so i just used canned)
1/4 cup sprouted bread (i used alvarado)
2 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour (i use bob’s red mill!)
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 t baking powder
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 cup parsley
1/2 t salt
black pepper

what you need to do
process chickpeas and bread crumbs in a food processor until chopped and combined. add everything else and process until it’s just about smooth. refrigerate for at least half an hour. (i chilled mine for about an hour just cause i went out right after making them)

after it’s chilled, preheat the oven to 375. pop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. make sure they’re not super thick or it will take forever to cook (lesson learned). bake for about 15 minutes on each side. remove from oven. barely allow cooling time. smother in tahini dressing (unfortunately this is not my recipe, it’s isa’s. so i cannot give it out but i can tell you it’s delicious!) and promptly eat.


(not pictured: a big old side of broccoli i ate while waiting for these to cook. i was starving, what can i say ;))

the next day i wrapped them in a giant collard green for lunch!

bad picture but i assure you, twas tasty.

the other day i bought some baby bok choy too! i whipped some up for lunch:

simply steamed with garlic and olive oil and doused in lemon. served over brown rice.

and now for the words part of my post. remember when i asked if you all wanted to see a bit of my real writing, not just my ramblings and musings? well, here you go! this is the beginning of a story i wrote last semester for my short story fiction class. feel free to laugh, dislike it, or provide constructive criticism where you see fit. i have not edited it, either. it’s called “ghosts of pumpkins past” (yeah, i suck at naming things.) and, please note, i use some “strong language” in here.

The man sitting across from me looked nervous. He hunched forward on his elbows and wore his hat low on his forehead. The brim skimmed his eyebrows, the eyes beneath them at times passing quickly to the left and then to the right. The plastic name tag clipped to his shirt read ‘visitor’ in red, capital letters, his real name already disposed of by my memory. Fluorescent lights bleached the color from his skin, leaving it tinted yellowy-gray, like the sun’s rays through fog. I smiled. The question he asked a moment before with a tone of forced confidence hung heavily in the silence bridging a gap between us. I cleared my throat.
“So, you want the short answer, or the long answer?”
He chuckled, as if confused. “Well, ma’m, I think the long answer might benefit me more.”
I sighed, though kept smiling all the same. “All right. Long story it is.”
The man’s lips mimicked mine and twisted into a thin, apprehensive smile. I’m sure he fancied himself covert, but the greedy appetite for the story-of-the-century gleamed in his beady brown eyes. Anticipation caused him to blink frequently and every couple of seconds his tongue smoothed over his cracked lips.
“I rarely discuss incidences involving the woman who happened to birth me,” I finally said after a long pause, “but, considering the circumstances, I’ll break my one golden rule.”
Excitement dilated his pupils. No longer did his eyes bounce from side to side, oh no. Now they rested solely on mine. “I bet you think you are special,” I asked. The grin alighting his face told me he did. “Please,” I said, “don’t.
My relationship with my mother started in the back seat of a beat down chevy pick up in the middle of bum-fuck, Nebraska. This was the place my mother quenched her thirst for rebellion, with some boy’s pee-wee shoved between her legs. Whatever makes you feel loved, right? Anyway, one pee-wee accidentally forgot to pull out during the grand finale and alakazam!” I paused for dramatic effect, throwing up my free hand and leaning closer towards him. The man, who looked so thoroughly absorbed already — eyes unblinking, teeth nibbling the bits of loose skin around his nails — jumped. I relaxed back into my previous position and continued. “Nine months later, I popped out, bursting a blood vessel in my mother’s eye on the way. Sperm donor daddy ditched small town rural life — and, incidentally my mother and I — for the Big Apple, where NYU and life-long dreams beckoned.” I sighed, thinking for a moment what might have been. But then I remembered where I was and who I was talking to and why I was talking to him and forced myself to keep talking in the whimsical way every journalist wants their interviewee to sound. “Whatever dreams painted my mother’s future dissolved into baby diapers and stretch marks. I personally restrained her from grasping that shooting star out of nowhere, USA. Talk about resentment from the get-go, huh?”
The man was again caught off guard by my pause, by my rhetorical question. He straightened, suddenly uncomfortable and embarrassed, and laughed softly.
You and I both, buddy, I thought. “At eighteen and with a baby out of wedlock in the middle of the America’s bible belt, my mother was an immediate leper. Her zealous, bible thumping parents wept and cursed God for gifting them a child so clearly born from the flames of hell.” The man nodded now, and jotted something down on the little pad before him. I shook my head, unable to suppress the toothy grin. “Guess they’re really pushing that idea now, right?”

and that’s where i’m going to leave you for right now. if you like it let me know and i’ll keep posting bits of it! as for now, i’m off to enjoy the day. i have hot yoga planned for later! it’s a new studio and it’s hot vinyasa, not bikram! i haven’t been to bikram since june unfortunately so i am really looking forward to this! have a good one!

namaste.

zoe.

happy monday kidlettes! how was your weekend? hope it went well!

the rest of mine rocked, basically. last night i went to a giants game (my second of the summer!!) with one of my best friends from high school. the giants swept the dodgers!!!! meaning (for those baseball challenged people ;)) out of a three game series, we won all three games! and considering the rivalry…it’s pretty awesome.

notice the “beat LA” cup?

le sigh. such a gorgeous day! what you don’t see: the giant wall of fog rolling in to the right. “the coldest winter i ever spent was summer in san francisco”, after all 😉

following the game i dragged brought my friends (we met up with two other people) to cafe gratitude! where i had a slice of their strawberry shortcake. i might be an addict. i’m okay with that.

yesterday also involved some good eats!

massaged kale salad with some cucumbers! i might be in love with kale. lately i’ve been craving it like a mad woman. and green foods in general. i woke up today craving brussel sprouts and kale. um. who am i again? almost everything in my grocery cart yesterday was green! funny comment i’ve been meaning to share: the other day i read an article about the actress emily blunt and what she does to loose weight or tone up before a movie. she said she goes on a few day “green only” food regimine. and she said something like “it is surprisingly hard to eat only green foods”…to which i was like, what? what? weird, right? who knew eating greens was so difficult ;)!

but not everything in my cart was green. i finally splurged and picked up these:

i am not a big cracked girl because i don’t really find them to be a substantial snack ever. maybe three or four servings, sure. but not like…seven chips. i’d much rather eat a plate full of veggies anyway. so i bought these with a little bit of skepticism but i’ve heard such great things about them. let me tell you…i am so happy i purchased these! they’re a lot bigger than i thought and taste heavenly! especially dipped in some sabra chipotle hummus :)! do you like mary’s crackers? or are you another cracker fan?

anywho, what i really want to discuss with you today is healthy eating! it’s no secret healthy eating and nutrition are really big interests of mine. i am fascinated by food and its healing properties and its fueling properties. i am incredibly passionate about it and love to learn as much as i can about it. i love talking about it so much my mom has suggested to me several times i should become a nutritionist. which might be fun, but i have other ideas as to the path my future should take (but that’s a whole other post a comin’ soon!).

however, sometimes i think my passion gets misinterpreted. when i talk about health and nutrition, i am sharing information i find interesting . i want to share with everyone all these facts about health and nutrition i stumble upon but sometimes, when i watch the faces of the people i talk to, their expressions read a little like this: “who is this crazy person and why the hell is she telling me this?” i’ve mentioned this before but i’m going to say it again: food choices are very personal. and whenever i discuss my lifestyle choices or food facts, i think people find me “preachy” or “superior” which is so NOT my intention! i think there is a direction connection between veganism and the word “snob.” i’m not sure why (well, okay, maybe peta has a bit to do with that…) but i certainly don’t think i’m a snob! and a lot of vegans i know aren’t, either!

lately i’ve found myself rethinking what i share with people. i never want to make another person feel badly about their food choices or their lifestyle. i do not feel superior to anyone. i just love what i love and i love sharing what i love! but often times i forget my interests are not other people’s interests. not everyone cares about the hormones in their food or the difference between organic and non-organic or how certain foods boost energy and mood.

so i guess my question is this: how do you share healthy eating without appearing “preachy?” it’s a hard line to follow, i think, because when someone encroaches on a person’s lifestyle — intentionally or not — the first reaction that person usually takes is a defensive one. how do you share your passions in an appropriate way? have you found yourself monitoring what you say?

anyway, enjoy your monday kidlettes! i have work some 6-10 tonight then a party for my friend who is about to leave for spain for a year. i don’t want to think about that quite yet so, let’s just call it a party!

namaste!

zoe!

after seven long, beautiful days, i get to say hello to you again, kidlettes!

vacation went a little like this:

first stop: sacramento state fair! i still don’t understand why sacramento is california’s capital. it’s not that cool. but the fair was fun! it was HUGE. AND i managed to find vegan food! hooray for pita carts! plus…

smokey and i got a little friendly 😉

our first day in tahoe: family thrift shopping! laughing at lots of ridiculous things. discovering two cute hats! and a silly, silly shirt reading “america” for my brother. anyone seen team america? my brother and i like to look at each other whenever we see something decidedly “american” (i.e: giant inflatable american flag bearing bald eagles on top of a car dealership…) and say: “america — fuck yeah!” seriously, trey parker and matt stone are geniuses. later that night we saw inception. HOLY BALLS. inception = a complete mind bending, awesome movie going experience. pluuuus i got to stare longingly at leonardo dicaprio and joseph gordon-levitt. the later of which makes my heart beat rapidly. so, so rapidly. le sigh. i swoon.

then we kayacked! around echo lake. gaaah. it was hard! but it was fun. and lovely on the eyes. i will say i woke up in a wicked mood that day (i blame it on the full moon. emotions were HIGH!) and it took me a while to snap out of it and appreciate where i was and what i was doing and looking at. i’m trying to put my petty emotions aside and appreciate the moments i pass through and all the beauty they contain. i am working on spending less time feeling down and more time feeling happy, light, and free. a challenge, yes, but nothing i cannot accomplish. plus, just look at this!

next up, a lovely, 1.2 mile uphill hike! beautiful trees. beautiful lakes. beautiful sky. beautiful company. and a little bit of rock climbing. climbing rocks = possibly the most fun thing ever. i love climbing anything, really. rocks. trees. up onto roofs. i’m not afraid of heights, either. so that’s a plus! last school year i got my belay license at our gym’s rock climbing wall which, regretfully, i did not take advantage of because i was too intimidated to. there’s some intense climbers at my college, yo…

what else happened? the beach of course! did i feel comfortable in my bathing suit? yes and no. more comfortable than i have in YEARS. but you know, still working on body anxiety. yadda yadda yadda. but i felt good enough to lounge around in my two piece all day. move on up! PLUS i got to hang off of a floaty while a boat pulled me. new experience. new AWESOME experience.

i also got to bake another cake!

a completely un-vegan cake. but that’s what you do when you’re brother’s friend turns 16. i love baking anything anyway so. whatever! chocolate cake. chocolate frosting. raspberry jam in between. chocolate chips in there somewhere. (by the way…the smell of all that chocolate nauseated me…)

and speaking of chocolate: i ate chocolate. dun-dun-duuun. well, it was sunspire grain-sweetened chocolate. so no refined sugars there. and it was unsweetened chocolate. but what did i find? well i ate it. and i liked it. duh. but ugh, it made me feel sick. i seriously am not craving it. i find myself craving broccoli and carrots and hummus like a pregnant lady though. and just healthy foods in general. also, i’ve been feeding myself more too. it’s a bit difficult at times and i find anxiety squeezes my heart and my blood warms uncomfortably but i just try to breathe through it. i try to remind myself healthy food does no damage to my body. it just makes it happy!

other things: FINALLY finished middle sex. do yourself a favor and READ IT. PLEASE. jeffery eugenides knows how to craft a beautiful sentence. (um. anyone else notice how beautiful is my most favorite word in this post? my apologies.) AND i started on another book written by one of my other favorite authors: lullaby by chuck palahniuk. chuck p. how i love thee. i sing his praises so much. talk about a gifted writer. he’s so thought provoking and elegant and hilarious and smart and…well, you get it. i love how straight forward his writing is. so crass. so entertaining. so effing brilliant.

and more things: so so so much yoga this week!

not a day has passed without me doing some. and some times i do some twice a day! i love how it calms me and puts me in this place of pure serenity. plus, i love how strong i feel! i still have issues getting into crow. and headstands. but i’m getting there. i love how yoga is about doing what you can and and not about forcing and rushing. i’ll get there. i’m so excited to get there, too! but i will not lie. some days i’ve felt major anxiety about not running. i am so happy i am not doing it but i feel like i am not “working out” enough. plus, i saw runners everywhere. we even came across a group of people at a running workshop. thanks by the way, universe. testing my strength, eh? whatever. i also worked out my work out anxieties with jillian michaels and shredded it uuuup. lady makes me sweat. and i love it.

but really, if you do anything today, please read this beautifully written and incredibly touching piece over at jezebel. it brought tears to my eyes (side note: i am such a wimp. i am an emotional weenie. everything and anything can make me cry if i attach enough meaning to it). it is an emotionally charged, thoughtful piece of writing that i connected to on several levels. and i think you might, too! plus, i love sharing beautiful writing with people. whenever i feel passionately about something, i tend to want to share it with everyone i know. much to the annoyance of everyone i know 😉 but dang, i just love words. and i love, love, love beautiful, magical words. helloooo english major with an emphasis in creative writing.

(which, on a SUPER side note, i’ve been thinking…would any of my lovely readers care to actually read some of my writing? like, my real writing? it’s been a journey to open up and actually share it and i guess i should give you a little taste of what i love! again…passionate about something = me sharing. and since i’m comfortable with letting people read my work now (thank the universe for creative writing workshops!), i’d love to share it with you all! that is, if you want to read it. if not, totally feel free to tell me “zoe, shut up. please.” ;))

whew! what a long and winding post. i missed blogging. could you tell ;)? and i may or may not have sneaked on to a few blogs while on vacation…so much for unplugging 😉 i’ve got a few topics (and more pictures!) to discuss with you all soon, too! so stay tuned!

until then…

namaste!

zoe!

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!

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!