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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: farmer’s market

yesterday started out interestingly.

saturday my family threw a 90th (!) birthday party for my grandma. it was incredibly sweet and touching. one of my aunts (my g-ma had 6 kids!) is super tech savy and put together a video of my grandmother’s life, documenting her wedding and the birth of all six of her kids. she went on to include the photos of all the grandkids, including my brother and i. some photos showcases my younger (and much, much blonder) years. then came the present day pictures. she showed photos from about a year to a year and a half ago.

and all i wanted to do was cry.

why? because in those photos, i was much, much thinner. in those photos i saw the person i left behind and the voice in my head told me i failed, that i got “fat” (though, no, that word did not cross my mind in all actuality because i don’t use that word any more!), despite the fact that, in those photos, i was running myself sick and not eating. the worst part? instead of appreciating the video and the amazing and full life of my grandma, i stole a moment to sneak away into the restaurant’s bathroom to cry. yes, i am pathetic.

i returned home in a funk, naturally, and fell asleep with it by my side. when i woke up in the morning, i felt just about the same. then i heard the little positive voice in my head speak up. it said: “zoe, you can choose positivity. choose it! focus on all the love in your life!”

so i did. i choose to see the people who loved me and all the things i am grateful for and by ten thirty in the morning, i felt great. k came over and we shuttled down to the farmer’s market in my hometown where i bought veggies galore and ran into my favorite aunt and two cousins. following our little trip we headed into san francisco to go climbing (really, is anyone surprised?) for about five hours. despite surpassing my climbing plateau (climbed more 5.10’s and had some breakthrough bouldering sessions!) and being with the boy who makes my heart sigh, i found myself confront my negative voice about two and a half hours into our climbing session.

now, this happens a lot. morning time is the easiest time for me to feel the happiest and the most optimistic. it might be because there is new, fresh energy in the morning and it dips mid-day but, regardless, i am always my happiest in the morning and my least happiest mid-afternoon or at night.

the least happiest part of the day hit me when i started looking around and started doing something awful: comparing. the voice inside my head said things like: “everyone else here has a flat stomach. no one looks like i do. everyone here is so thin. so toned. why can’t i look like that?” the feeling of embarrassment replaced the feeling of happiness and my mood took a nose-dive. all smiles and laughter disappeared and i sunk into myself, a victim again of the negative voice in my head. at one point k called me sexy, a word i am not used to hearing, saying, or believing. i scoffed a bit and he asked me a simple question: “why do you laugh when i tell you that?” a good question indeed, one that took me off guard and challenged the negativity i found myself in company with.

this feeling of self-doubt and unworthiness followed me for about forty minutes. then, something happened.

i hopped onto a route i’ve been eyeing for months. it’s on the tallest wall in the gym and it’s never free. so when a spot opened up, i tied in as quickly as possible and got to climbing. if you’re not a stranger to the negative voice, you know how hard it is to accomplish anything. it tells you you’re going to fail, you suck, you can’t do anything right — and you believe it. usually, i do, too. but yesterday, something happened.

about half-way up the route, doubt started to creep in. i thought, or rather, my negative self thought, “you can’t finish this. you’re going to fall. you’re not going to make it to the top.” two words answered the flurry of negativity: “shut up.” they came out of no where and surprised the shit out of me. something in me was obviously so tired of hearing untruths and decided to fight back. the often ignored positive voice spoke up for me without me choosing for it to do so.

how did i feel? amazing. it was thrilling, telling myself to eff off. i said it one more time (internally) and this rush of positivity flooded me. suddenly, i was telling myself “you’ve got it! you can do this! you’re so close, don’t give up! you’re strong!” and a few seconds later, i found myself at the top of the route, accomplished, sweaty, and super pumped (a term describing the feeling in your arms/forearms when you climb really intensely).

k lowered me back to the ground and the rest of the day was spent in a cloud of positivity. i stopped caring what other people looked like because they’re not me. yes, i used to be thinner, but i used to be unhealthy. i used to punish myself with exercise and deprive myself of food. now, i am healthy. now, my clothes actually fit. my period is back, my skin cleared up, my glow is apparent and i am stronger than i have ever been. i am not the number on the scale, the number on the tag of my pants, or the reflection in the mirror. i am far more important things.

i feel good today, too. i just finished a massive veggie-packed juice (is it weird that all i was craving this morning for breakfast was vegetables? my usual breakfast fare did not sound appealing at all.) and am about to hop onto my mat (which has been neglected this past week) for some solid dave farmer power vinyasa. i am craving a sweaty yoga session today! i hope you all have a wonderful start to your week! and i hope you remember just how amazing you all are — just the way you are!

do you find it difficult to stay positive? what do you do to regain your positivity? have you ever told yourself off? no? try it!



(oh, also…keep an eye out for my first ever guest post over at i came to run! let me know what you think!)

a beautiful end to a beautiful weekend. sunshiney blue skies all weekend. no work. lots of friends and lots of adventures.

what did i do?

saturday a friend and i went to the 12th annual power to the peaceful festival in san francisco. unfortunately, i missed the day including yoga. fortunately, i went to a day filled with music, excellent vendors, fantastic organic foods and tons and tons and tongs of people. we saw rebelution. we saw other local bands. we watched acrobatic yoga. we saw a lot of old hippies, lots of young hipsters, and a bunch of peace loving kids (me included). i also got to feast on some food from lydia’s organics! they’re a local company (from my home town!) and i’ve talked about how much i love their crackers so it only made sense i loved their food as well.

this plate of deliciousness was called the coconut curry special. delicious salad with “rice” (cauliflower) and marinated veggies in a coconut curry sauce. um. so…this was delicious! and it came with three of my most favorite crackers!

cloooose uuuppp!

this was ultra hydrating which was exactly what i wanted. it was ridiculously hot in the city yesterday and i could not get enough water.

another great part of yesterday? BUFFALO!!

san francisco has a section of golden gate park fenced off for these buffalo. they’ve been here foreeeever and i remember my grandma taking me to see them when i was a kid. new sight for my friend, who is originally from san diego.

and last night one of my best friends from high school came to visit me. and this morning we went to the farmer’s market! i went a little crazy…

minus the hummus (part of my lunch i was snacking on!) the pile of food you see includes dino kale, kale, thai sweet basil, basil, cantelope, heirloom tomatoes, okra, peaches, nectarines, eggplant, mango plums (these are seriously delicious), carrots (ooof course), romaine, and three nut butters i got at trader joes (my most favorite place everrr). i am stocked for the week and plan on making lots of delicious meals when i have time to do so.

also, i’ve contemplated new ideas for my next tattoo. i am addicted, this is true. number three will most likely be words because, well, for obviously reasons — i am a writer. i love words and find meaning in so many. i’m thinking about getting some (more) beatles’ lyrics. are you surprised? there’s a few lines from the song ‘dear prudence’ that really strike me: ‘the sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful, and so are you.’ it would be a permanent reminder to see the bright side of the issue and to always see the beauty in people and things and especially in myself. what do you guys think! i’d get it on my left side, if you were wondering. i’m going to sit with it a few months and see how i feel. never get a tattoo on impulse! shit’s permanent!

but my main dilemma unfolded itself in front of me this weekend. it kind of sucks. and i’m kind of wondering where all this karma is coming from. the universe sure knows how to create an unfavorable coincidence sometimes. allow me to explain. last year around this time i met a guy who i immediately really liked. we seemed to click pretty well. but there was just one problem (isn’t there always?): he had a girlfriend. so i put my feelings aside and just stayed his friend. and pretended the flushed feeling he created in my face and the nerves he ignited in my stomach did not exist. no, we were just friends.

so now, almost a year later, i find a boy at work who i think is pretty cute. he is quite similar (re: very) to the guy i originally found attractive. we all work together, i should mention. and about a week ago, boy number one got dumped by his girlfriend. right when i started to “move on” from my little crush that refused to die. and guess what? yeah, it refused to die. this crush has acted more like a phoenix, really. it grew again from the ashes of epic fail. and i know he’s in no position to start a relationship. and i know his heart is broken. and i know i have no interest in being a rebound. but damn it…i really like him.

i don’t often talk about boys on here. i am really shy. painfully so. i’ll tell those background stories another time. but do know that right about now, i am done with the single thing. and i’ve been working really hard to put myself out there. and it seems to have worked. boy number two kind of likes me. i can tell. candace can tell. but now boy number one is suddenly free of his girlfriend. this is a shitty situation. there’s no other way to put that. talk about a ridiculous “love” triangle. ugh.

any suggestions as to what i should do? i hate leading people on and always make sure never to do it (learned that lesson. again, another story for another day…) and i do like boy number two it’s just…you know. what do i do? kill this new found crush and patiently wait? or the other way around? i don’t even know if i have a shot with boy number one, either. regardless, this is going to drive me crazy for a little bit. any help would be much, much appreciated.

as for now, i am just going to go with the flow. which means making dinner (it’s soup sunday afterall!) and ignoring my homework till the last possible second.

have a great evening, kidlettes. and i apologize for this rambling post. i tend to do that a lot. thanks for sticking around.



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!



hello loves!

sorry i’ve been absent. phhfft, who am i kidding though? i think only about like…three people read this anyway. sorry to the 2.5-3 people who check this from time to time!

i am currently at home! i did not plan on staying so long but, so is life. i just kind of love being here with my family. i came home friday night for a big family dinner in oakland. it was glorious. i got to see my aunts and uncles and my one cousin who is my age who i never get to see. i ate a giant bowl of polenta. i ate a ridiculously rich bittersweet chocolate pot de creme. i ate late. i broke all my “rules”. and you know what? I. DIDN’T. GIVE. A. CRAP. nope. not at all. did i wake up with a food baby in the morning? sure, i was a bit puffy.

so i walked on the treadmill for three miles and called it a day for exercise. then came the high light of the day: USA VS ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! guys, this game was epic. the US team really sucks — i’m not going to deny it. we bunch together and have NO idea how to mark men. all of our players kept running into one another. no wonder the rest of the world laughs at the US’s attempts at soccer…oh, plus we call it soccer while the rest of the world calls it football. seriously, america makes no sense sometimes. regardless, the game ROCKED. england scored in the first 3 minutes — huge upset. then we came back with a goal — albeit a pretty lame one…BUT we still got one! it went RIGHT through the keeper’s hands. um. yeah…he’s never going to live that one down. towards the end of the game the US had multiple chances to score and just could not find the back of the net. ultra bummer because there were just SO MANY CHANCES. hopefully we’ll play england again! (though i highly doubt it.)

the best part about all of these matches? THE BOYS! ohmygoddddd these football boys make my heart flutter. i swear they’re all so damn good looking. i almost can’t stand it…almost 😉

after the game i went swimming. our pool is finally warm enough to swim in! we don’t heat it because we not rich and heating a pool takes a crazy amount of money outta the bank! we do have a solar heater cover thing so when it’s hot, the water warms. it felt soo good to swim!

i spent the remainder of the day lounding around reading middlesex which, so far, i absolutely love. it’s written in a very different (though similar in terms of prose) style compared to the virgin suicides. he’s a great writer and this story is compelling so far.

yesterday rocked but i really want to discuss something that did not rock about yesterday.

i eat well about 90% of the time. very well. over the past year i have cut out a lot of food items: meat, (most) dairy, (most) gluten, (most) breads and carby items. i try to eat like the other bloggers i see: healthy healthy healthy. but, about once a month, something happens: i go on an epic one night binge. i’ve mentioned my struggles with binge eating before. it’s definitely a battle i’m getting better at fighting but some nights, i just cannot stop myself from eating anything and everything i deem “unhealthy”. do i know this is a bad habit? you bet your ass i know it’s as unhealthy as unhealthy can be, both physically and mentally.

last night i went a little too far. i had a binge episode unlike any episode i’ve had in quite a long while. it’s been a good amount of time since i last ate this amount of food in one sitting. and trust me, i ate a lot yesterday outside of this binge, too. i ate oatmeal. i ate a ginormous salad. i ate an apple and some crackers (crackers are something i rarely eat. but i am not in my apartment so i eat what is in my parent’s fridge/pantry) with pb & ab. i ate a delicious healthy burrito with roasted broccoli and cauliflower.

then this happened: i ate a serving of so delicious coconut milk cookies & “cream” “ice cream” with some dark chocolate chips. then i ate another serving. plus a bite or two more. then i ate a R.I.D.I.C.U.L.O.U.S amount of chocolate chips. then i made cookies — real cookies with butter and white flour and refined sugar…and ate about nine. you guys, i knew this was “bad”. i even felt it — i was stuffed but i kept eating. and eating. i woke up this morning and felt hungover and ill. my stomach was upset. it was bad news. i don’t even want to think about how many calories i consumed. i swore today would be better…

…until my parents came home from their overnight stay in healdsburgh with more cookies. of which i ate 1.5. BAD IDEA. BAD BAD BAD. i know myself: sweets are my downfall. i know they throw me out of whack. BUT I JUST CANNOT STOP MYSELF. although my binges are much less frequent, i just want to be rid of this habit forever. “secret” eating makes me feel ashamed. and, although i wasn’t ashamed of myself for eating what i ate last night (in fact, i was incredibly forgiving of myself this morning. i said hey, you don’t get fat from ONE night of bad eating. it’s OKAY.), i WAS disgusted. why? because i literally made myself sick. that’s UNHEALTHY. i am so tired of this cycle.

i am so tired of denying myself the carbs i crave. the other night, before we sat down for dinner in oakland, the restraunt brought out two pizzas. did i want a piece? of course. did i eat one? hell no. why? because it was white flour. because it was extra carbs and calories i didn’t need. because i was scared of it.

my food anxities developed seemingly out of no where. i never used to be this way. i never used to berate myself the way i do now. why do i deny myself things i know i love like bagels and bread? i literally have not had a bagel in just about a year. and before that i don’t think i had a bagel in about three years. what the eff gives?

i am so tired of patrolling what i eat and when i eat and how much i eat. it’s important to listen to my body and, for the most part, i do. but i am so tired of feeling shame when i eat something “bad.” where did all these “rules” come from? i love food — why can i not enjoy it? whywhywhyWHY??????? all these wonderful food bloggers make it all look so simple…their relationship with food looks so much happier and healthier then mine. it gets exhausting to constantly think about food, to think about where and when my next meal will be and what i will eat and if it will include “bad” foods or “good” foods. i want to eat bread and potatos and pasta (god i miss pasta) and enjoy it. i just want to be relaxed about food. i want all of this anxiety to go away. it wasn’t here a year ago. why is it here now? when did i cross over from healthy to obsessive? something just isn’t right.

so i decided to go to a counselor when school starts up again. i tried this last year but did not commit to it. i wasn’t prepared to. but now i am. i have to be. i need a way of handling my binge eating and balancing my mind, body, and soul. i just don’t think i am strong enough to do it on my own anymore. i thought i had this under control but if last night (and subsequently this morning) shows me anything, it’s that i really don’t.

how can i encourage others to live healthy lives if i myself don’t? something is missing. something is off. i need to figure out what it is and fix it. i cannot keep eating and running myself miserable. i just can’t.

so stick with me here, you 2.5-3 people, as i attempt to strike a permanent balance in my life. step one? tonight i am going out for pizza with my aunt and cousin. REAL pizza.

but first a run…that i am nervous about because of a) all the crap i ate last night/this morning and b) all the HEAT. holy cow it’s hot in northern california folks. if i need to walk i’m going to walk. usually is i walk, i feel like a failure. i need to stop thinking like that. it makes running something i drag myself through instead of something i enjoy.

thanks for reading, too, if you do. i’m sharing thoughts i rarely speak out loud to myself. i really, really appreciate it — especially when i am feeling as vulnerable as i do right now.