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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: 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

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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!