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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: running

but first. remember this?

woke up singing this. TLC was so cool, man.

but anyway…

tomorrow marks the start of march. march. can anyone else quite believe that? march, 2011. already i feel the year quietly slipping passed. sadness. however, i’m happy to close the book on february. it’s been a long month and i’m ready to leave it behind. in march i’m really going to concentrate on a few things. like happiness. and health. and the forthcoming spring. because after spring comes summer (!). and constant sunshine, shorts, tank tops, the beach, late nights, friends, swimming, out side climbing and i-could-go-on-and-on. for now though, i’ll concentrate on the present πŸ˜‰

and the present hasn’t been entirely too interesting. last night i caught the end of the oscars with my friends and a bottle or two of wine. i missed the entire red carpet business so i missed all the glitz and glam. but still…can we talk about how beautiful natalie portman is? for serious. girl crush!

and how cute were these two?

boycrushes. for sure πŸ™‚

and since i have little else to talk to you about on this dreary monday morning (arch nemesis rain expected later this week!), i’ll share some new information with you!

question number three! my thoughts on drugs and alcohol.

confession: i actually posted a long, detailed post about my thoughts and experiences. but the comments i received lead me to delete it. so this time around, i’m not going into detail. sorry, i know i’m all for honesty, but it seems like some people were not so down for the honesty i was offering. so here it goes.

i am not a stranger to drugs and alcohol. i don’t think anyone really truly is. we’re all affected or influenced by drugs in some way, directly or not. i can tell you my experience with drugs and alcohol started in high school. nothing scandalous and nothing on a large scale. i’ve never been one to get carried away. i know my limits and stick with them. the nothing scandalous things i became acquainted with followed me into freshman year of college and sophomore year. and junior and senior. however, sophomore year is when i dabbled a bit more in other areas of the drug world. so yes, i am familiar with some things i know other people look down on, especially in the “healthy living” community.

but honestly? i’m not an idiot. i know my limits and stick with them. i’ve never been one to alter my character just to look cool for another person or group of people. i’ve definitely been around people doing drugs i chose to not try. i’ve definitely turned down a hit, a glass, a pill. and that’s because i know myself. and i know what i am okay with and what i am not okay with. most importantly, i know that it’s okay to say no.

do i regret my experiences? absolutely not. they changed me for the better. my perspective on life took a 180. i see the people, things, and happenings in my life through a completely different lens. i am more patient, understanding, and less angry now. and no, i’m not going into any more detail than that.

so that’s it! i don’t drink very often and when i do, i stick to beer, wine, and tequila. not necessarily all in one night πŸ˜‰ basically it comes down to this: to each his own and as long as your habits are not infringing on my happiness and health, keep on keeping on!

that’s my plan for the day. keep on keeping on, i mean. i feel much better than yesterday. i went on a long, near seven mile run. it was some kind of magic, i’m telling you. i would have kept going but my knees were screaming at me. taking that as a sign to rest today. cause, you know, i actually take those cues from my body into consideration now. regardless, it felt amazing to just go.

i’ve got work at seven so i’ve got all day to do a whole lot of nothing. one thing about being out of school while everyone else is in it? not too many adventure buddies readily available. good thing i’m okay with spending time with only myself πŸ™‚

have a beautiful monday!

what about this up-coming new month are you most excited about? any goals, plans, randomness you want to share? go for it, i want to hear it :)!



i’m not crazy.

um. yeah. i know it’s a weird song.

but i’m feeling hella nervous. hella hella hella. okay, well maybe not nervous. but anxious. thought my anxiety levels were under control? me too. until last night.

last night our store had a meeting. so of course i saw k. i, maybe immaturely, did not say a single word to him the entire time. i didn’t even look at him. i figure his actions speak louder than his words. by ignoring me as he has recently, i figure it’s what he wants me to do as well. so i did. and it was not easy. later, while at work (i closed), i texted him to see if he was going to be home when i was off. i was picking something up from his roommate who wasn’t home and i never got a text back. this is when my anxiety started to sink in after an entire day free from it.

i drove to his house after work to talk, to ask him why he felt it necessary to ignore me, especially when we decided to be friends. his car wasn’t there. crazy person that i am, i drove to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment complex…and saw his car parked out front. talk about a punch in the stomach.

just to clarify — i never creep around trying to figure out where people are. but for the sake of my through-the-roof anxiety, i needed some answers. if k was going to ignore me, i knew it was up to me to just figure the whole thing out. it sucked to discover, but i had a sinking feeling it was happening anyway. at least i know now and can waste no more time worrying about the potential of getting back together. it’s not going to happen.

regardless of knowing now, i’m still feeling an incredibly amount of anxiety. for me, anxiety feels terrible. it seems to simmer my stomach bile and make me essentially live in the bathroom. my chest feels ready to explode and the urge to vomit becomes strong and difficult to ignore. recently, i’ve also realized my anxiety makes me cold. i find it really hard to stay warm. example: i’m under four blankets right now and i’m still shivering. all this makes eating difficult to do. everything i manage to put down wants to come right back up. the only way i know how to manage these feelings is to move. and constantly. i ate a smoothie earlier (but couldn’t finish it) and am planning on taking off on a long, long run shortly.

i feel used. and cheated. and really, really hurt. not only did i just lose a boyfriend, but i lost a friend. if they’re back together (which i’m basically sure they are), i know she will not let him hang out with me. i know this because i know her and how much she loathes me. if anything, i learned a very valuable lesson here: always give people time to heal from past relationships before allowing them to jump into new ones. especially with you.

i know deep down in my heart k still cares about me. i know he likes me. i know he has a difficult time being alone. most importantly though, i know i deserve better than this and like me or not, i’m washing my hands of this entirely. these are silly games i stopped playing in high school. last night i kept asking myself “what am i lacking? what am i not enough of for him?” doubt cornered me and threatened to keep me up until sunrise. after a lot of thought and a lot of text messages with my lovely, amazing, supportive friend victoria, it came down to this: nothing. i am not lacking anything. k is immature. and selfish. and i am worth more than immaturity and selfishness. just like you are, too.

to reaffirm these thoughts, i wrote them out, over and over again. sometimes writing things makes them real. i wrote “this is not about me” and “i am worthy of all good things” over and over and over. i covered a page with these words. and hearts.

i know it might look silly, but words are very powerful for me. it’s why i write. they’re a coping mechanism for me.

so do i feel lacking this morning? sort of. i know it’s not true. but i’m still sad. this is going to be difficult to work my way through but i know i have an amazing support system available to me. i’ll get through this. just with a little help from my friends.

how do you remind yourself of you’re worth only all good things, always?

have a wonderful sunday.



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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚
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?



eventful couple of days over here on the california coast my loves! but such is life. how are you all? i hope you are well!

before i start, happy LOVE YOUR BODY DAY! tell me why you love your body? i love mine because it allows me the freedom to move! and i love it because it slowly healed itself after several long months of ill treatment. how amazing!

let me tell you a story. remember a little while back when i briefly mentioned my boy debacle? you know, the post where i found myself positioned between one boy with no attachments and another who just ended a two year relationship? well, i listened to my mind and pay attention to my heart and found i really, truly, completely dug the boy who happened to just end a two year relationship. this crush goes back a year, after all! it leaves me in an awkward position. especially because he and his ex, i am told, are contemplating reuniting. but unofficially. and without labels. whatever.

naturally i felt down. naturally the butterflies in my stomach wilted and my heart, that silly organ, tightened inside its ribbed cage. yes my loves, disappointment at something i tried desperately not to become excited over happen. but you know, i am only human. and, sometimes, our emotions overcome our common sense. after discovering the potentially mood changing news i did indeed feel down.

i found myself asking this very question: what do you do when fighting a funk? well, personally, you bake vegan banana bread. you inhale deeply. and then you decide to head out on a massive, mind clearing run. a run you say? are you asking yourself zoe, i thought you hated running? well, i do. and i don’t. i love it when my body feels like moving in such a way. and, sometimes, running is the only thing that calms my nerves. so after i popped the banana bread out of the oven and popped a piece into my mouth (no recipes yet, working on it still!) i laced up my running shoes and took off on my seven mile loop. it’s been well over three months since i attempted my last seven miler. i told myself to stop when i needed to. but you know what? i never found the need!

i took the run slowly. and it felt amazing the entire time. sometimes all you need to do is simply slow down. i am a big fan of slow movement. i zoned out to music like fiona apple and metric, not your typical work out tunes. the slow music matched my slow mood and i felt like i was floating through out the entire seven miles. i felt blissful and centered.i felt zen-ful. by the time i returned home all sweaty and grounded, i decided it would all be okay.

in the past i usually blamed the unravelling of a strong desire on myself. i was obviously not pretty enough, not funny enough, not worthy enough. i wound myself up playing the comparison game. what did girl x have that i did not have? what a waste of time and energy! this time around i reminded myself of my worth when, for a moment, i doubted it. i reminded myself one person does not and cannot determine my worth as a human being. no one but you can take away your value. at least, i like to think so πŸ™‚

so did i wallow a bit yesterday and the day before (the day the news hit?)? naturally. did i wake up today a happier and brighter person? yes. i took this potential relationship demise as a sign. maybe the universe is pointing me in a better direction? regardless, i’m just going to roll with the punches. sometimes things just don’t work out, no matter how much you hope it does. we’ll see what the future holds but for right now, i am not dwelling. why let a silly boy blot out your happiness anyway :)?

plus, i have far more fun and positive things to focus on! like my birthday. in two days!!!! i’m so excited i just might burst. really though, i’m excited for my birthday dinner. and being able to order a beer with my meal. ah, the awesomeness that comes with (finally!) turning 21.

but please, do tell me: how do you zen-out and deal with difficult issues?

have a fantastic hump day, loves!

β€œwhen you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” -marcus aurelius



(p.s: omg i cannot believe i almost forgot to mention this to you all: remember how all those months of over exertion and under fueling led my monthly cycle to shut down completely? and remember how i got my blood tested twice to see what was up? and how it showed me nothing? and how worried i got? well, guess what? I GOT MY PERIOD AGAIN! it happened monday night and i starting crying. i am so ridiculously thankful for this body of mine. i was so worried about having to be put back on birth control (i HATE birth control and tend to steer clear of medicine when and if i can) and knew my body was smart enough to work itself out once i starting taking care of it again. bodies are so smart, you guys! it seriously amazes me. okay, okay, rant over :)!)

(p.p.s: katie is having a artisana coconut butter give away! link back to win!)

happy sunday morning! or, rather, happy grey, misty, humid sunday morning. the weather can’t quite decide what it wants to be today. i still kind of love it.

yesterday the good vibes just kept on rolling. and the run? hands down the best run i’ve ever been on. ever. from start to (reluctant) finish, i only felt awesome. i dug on the music, dug on the beautiful scenery, dug on the ridiculous happiness cultivating in my chest. it felt good to move my legs like that. and it felt good to not associate it strictly with the amount of calories burned. i never ran long distances to challenge myself in a healthy, fun way — i only did it to burn, burn, burn. not part of this run felt like a challenge, though. my legs carried me seamlessly from one spot to the next. i followed no set path. i stopped only because i needed to meet candace at the house on her break. oh, and can i just add: running with knees that are not bums kicks ass. i like the no pain knees better. go figure.

and i took some advice from my latest obsession, thrive, and ate a recovery snack high in easily digestible carbs. according to brendan braizer, consuming a recovery snack high in protein and fat directly after a work out forces the body’s energy and blood flow to the stomach in order to digest. this energy, crucial now as the body is recovery from a work out, can now not properly repair the body. the body’s repair time gets extended and a lot of energy is expanded. he suggests eating a small recovery snack and then a few hours later, when the body has had some time to repair, eat your protein-rich meal. it helps the body recover faster!

i’ve practiced this philosophy a for the past couple of weeks and i can tell you i seriously feel a difference. i have more energy after my work outs. i feel myself recovering much more quickly. i don’t wake up fatigued and sore and miserable the next day. it’s pretty awesome! yesterday’s recovery snack was a smoothie. half a banana, half a overwhelmingly delicious farmer’s market white peach, some ice and some almond milk. the crucial ingredient? sea salt! i sprinkled a good bit in there because i am a biiiig salty sweater. yum.

for dinner a few hours later, i went with exactly what my body was craving: carbs, carbs, carbs. and this was born:

a roasted garlic hummus smothered millet, eggplant and kale brown rice quesadilla!

i baked the eggplant before i put it in the quesadilla. this was absolutely delicious. seriously. just look at it.

and, oddly enough, i was craving salt. i took it as a cue from my body to add a bit more salt — i must of sweat out a ton!

for dessert about an hour later i created something yummy! i am still off the chocolate train for now (and, actually, feel a bit better). but i do eat cocoa powder and raw cacao powder. so i put this together:

nut butter chocolate cups!

one is sunflower seed butter, the other almond butter. all i did was take coconut oil, melt it down, and mix it with unsweetened coco powder. i find i really enjoy the unsweetened taste of chocolate now. i’m weird. really, though, i credit this to my drastic decrease in sugar. i rarely, if ever, consume white refined sugar and i feel better because of it. sugar just doesn’t work for my body. have you ever found anything you just don’t jive with at all?

but anyway, onto the business of this deliciousness. all i did was melt the coconut oil, put half in the bottom of two cupcake holders. then stuck them in the freezer for about ten minutes to harden some so the nut butters wouldn’t sink to the bottom of the cup. then i topped it off with nut butter and then the remainder of the melted coconut oil. the good thing about coconut oil? well besides being pretty darn good for you, it freezes quickly! so you can consume this in no time at all:

i’m having fun in the kitchen again. it’s exciting.

i’m balancing pretty well at the moment. my libra scales are happy. i am happy. and concentrating on expanding that happiness. i’m listening closely to my body and, wouldn’t you know it, successfully balancing my emotions, my skin, my weight, my metabolism, my energy. i’m not sure if i have, but i feel like i’ve stumbled onto something here. regardless i’m totally running with it. i’m breathing a big sigh of relief this sunday morning.

i’m taking it easy today. i’ve got family dinner this evening and work tomorrow at 6:45. so i’m just doing homework and hopefully retiring to bed eaaaarly. it’s been a sleepless kind of weekend. maybe i’ll squeeze in some nice hatha yoga if i have time. anyway, have a good one!

(i can sit in half lotus now! my hips are so. tight. another gift from running and stress)



(and p.s: just looking at this picture from last night. my skin is healthy again you guys. i’m so happy :)!

my situation appeared a little gloomy last post, didn’t it? not my intention.

especially because i had such an amazing night last night. i work with some hilarious, entertaining, fantastic individuals. the giants game was so much fun. i carted into the city myself and four other boys (two of them being the boys i mentioned earlier in the week). somehow i always manage to become bffs with guys much quicker than with girls. strange phenomenon (holy hell i just spelled that word right for the first time ever. sorry, but pretty sure that deserves a paranthetical announcement!). regardless, we chit chatted the entire way into the city and listened to good music. at the game i enjoyed not one but TWO beers. usually i forego drinking because the empty calories and carbs freak me out. but i decided to hell with it — i was at a giants game and i was going to enjoy myself. and i did.

my coworkers got drunk. i got a little tipsy myself. and i was all smiles the entire evening. even though i got back late and woke up at four unable to go back to sleep, i am still having an amazing day. i woke up super pumped for the day to begin. worked from 7-1:30. ate a delicious, filling lunch and am about to set out on a run.

confession: since breaking up with running about two and a half months ago, no part of me has wanted to run. recently, however, the running itch has returned and the need to scratch it continues to grow. part of me is hesitant because part of me believes i am only interested (still) in the calorie burning aspect of the work out. but the other, much, much more rational aspect of my self, recognizes the budding joy i have found in my last few runs. at work today all i could think about was running. not running a lot, just a little — something like two to three miles at an easy peasy pace. with walking breaks if need be. i am not pushing myself anymore in anything — i’m only doing things i like and only doing as much as my body wants me to. i’m getting better at this whole listening to my body, don’t you think? personally i’m really proud of the progress i have made. really.

so if i feel like running from now on, i think i’m going to give it a shot. most days include yoga (okay, basically all days) but some days will now include running, i think. i’m about ready to rebuild this relationship the healthy way. since tearing through thrive by brendan brazier, i realized how little i was feeding myself back in my heavy running days. i was never properly fueled for my runs or properly recovering from my runs. i did not realize the impact my intentional restriction would have on my body. bodily stress = weight gain. bodily stress = bad skin. bodily stress = unstable emotions. bodily stress = depression. all the negative i experienced came from denying my body what it craved. i hope to see a nutritionist soon because i am still at a bit of a loss as to what i should be eating and how much and when. because i am not ready to give up this vegan lifestyle — i love it so much. thrive has helped me see and truly value to importance of taking care of my body. it is a temple, after all. seriously, i really, REALLY recommend thrive. there’s awesome nutritional facts about all kinds of food and delicious recipes. and pre and post workout recovery tips! the guy is smart, for sure.

anyway, i’m about to take off on my run now. wish me luck! i’ll let you all know how it turns out. have a fantastic saturday, my loves!



the road to the recovery of positivity never unfolds without bumps. most days i find it less difficult to see the brighter side of things. but some days, seeing the beauty inside of myself and inside of everything feels so unobtainable. i am sure most of you too find it difficult some days to accept yourself as you are in that moment.

this week i’ve struggled a bit more than usual in remaining positive. i am having difficultly accepting my body has — quite clearly — settled at its’ happy weight. i am having difficulty accepting the slight extra weight. i am having trouble accepting the womanly curves of my natural body (no matter what weight i have been, i have not been below a d cup). i feel my health returning but the healthy mind body connection is still broken. i am obsessive over certain body parts and some days cannot shut off the negative mind’s chatter. additionally, i am still running into days where i knowingly restrict my caloric intake. it feels really awful to experience a budding sense of pride and happiness when i know i did not eat a lot during one day.

so i breathe in deeply and move forward with my day, managing as best i can.

oddly enough, though, despite the handful of negative days i run into to and despite the destructive thoughts i accumulate on those days, i feel good. i am allowing myself to do more. to experience life.

yesterday i drank an iced soy chai from my school’s coffee shop. usually i forego all drinks except water. but yesterday it sounded delicious. so delicious that i chucked food rules and food anxieties and drank one. and enjoyed one. and did not think about the calories and sugar in it.

did i ever mention i love rock climbing? last year i got belay certified…and only went to the rock wall twice. a friend of mine kind of discouraged me. and the harness pinched me in all the “wrong places”, making me think i looked “fat”. so i stayed away, afraid of what i looked like and afraid to try again. know what i did on wednesday? went rock climbing. and? well i thought about what i looked like for like…ten seconds. and got over it. and focused on having fun, not obsessing over the size of my thighs in a harness. and was it fun? probably one of the most fun activities i’ve done since returning to school. i loved all the new muscles i used and i loved the challenge. will i go back? oh, hell yes.

on the days i eat healthfully, i eat well. i eat what i crave. and lately, it’s been a lot of tasty. and pizzas.

for lunch the other day i had a toastada of sorts…

sauteed zuchinni, onions, savoy cabbage on a sprouted wrap, topped with dayia cheese and slathered with nando’s hot sauce, of course

next up something interesting…

vegan cream cheese (follow your heart brand), mashed chick peas with nando’s, sauteed bell peppers and onions on a sprouted wrap

the best part? i kind of over cooked the wrap so it was like eating off of a giant chip! the crunchiness was awesome. the food for life wraps are so incredibly tasty. i love, love, looove them. in addition to tasting great, they’re also a complete protein! i really recommend them if you’ve never tried them.

about half way through eating this i got an idea…


best. idea. ever. yum!

last night i had one thing on my mind for dinner:

yellow squash stuffed with millet and sauteed onions, kale and bell pepper tossed in a creamy tahini garlic dressing

um. basically amazing. i ate it with some walnuts, too. just cause. they look like brains, right? did you know walnuts promote brain health? cool, huh!

for the squash, boil in water for about ten minutes to soften it. then core it and scoop out it’s insides! while it’s boiling, cook the millet. take one cup and toast it on the stove. then add the toasted millet to a boiling pot of 2.5 cups water. cook for 25 minutes or until the water is absorbed. then take half a cup and mix with sauteed veggies (use what ever you have on hand!) stick in broiler for about five minutes. consume!

for the sauce: take a spoonful of tahini and mix it with a splash of water, a dash of salt, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast. it’s so creamy and good!

and for dessert, something i planned a few days ago…

beet froyo!

i am crazy about beets. always have been. i know a lot of people are not so into beets. but if you love beets like i love beets, this is for you. it’s beet-tastic. (and yes, i really did just type that.)

all you have to do is over bake some bake some beets a little, chop them up and stick them in the freezer. then run them through the food processor. this will take a second. it starts out in little chunks but add a few splashes of your milk of choice and it will come together like froyo! i added a pinch agave too, for some additional sweetness.

topped with warmed almond butter and this was just what i needed.

for lunch i ate a really delicious pizza…again…

food for life brown rice tortilla topped with tomato paste, sauteed onions (addicted), baked farmer’s market eggplant, farmer’s market basil, hummus cheeze sauce, and nutritional yeast.

i just added nutritional yeast to some garlic hummus i have and stirred in some water. it was deviiine. i baked thin slices of eggplant at 350 with just a little olive oil, s & p. simple and tasty. eight minutes or so on each side. after they were done i piled everything but the cheese on the pizza and popped it into the broiler (my new favorite) for a few minutes then took it out, dumped on the cheeze sauce and demolished. i was hungry. for a good reason.

i walked to school for a meeting with a teacher that never happened (he didn’t show up. and to think i could of gone rock climbing had i known he wasn’t going to be there). but i shrugged it off and headed for the gym. and i ran. for 30 minutes. straight. it was okay. i felt really good after, though. and still do. i might think about rebuilding my relationship with running but…baby steps. following the half hour i spent another half hour stretched out on my yoga mat. i brought it to the gym with me today and went through some poses in a back room. the view was gorgeous. and i did something i never do in public: took off my shirt and just did it my spandex shorts and sports bra. and kept my cool when people walked in the room.

talk about a big step. i was a bit self conscious at first but then i got over it. because i looked healthy. i went through some of my favorite balancing poses and a few sets of warriors as well as some floor work. by the time i walked out of the gym i felt really empowered.

i am feeling beautiful inside and out much more frequently. i am forgiving myself much more frequently. i am giving to myself much more frequently. i am trying. honest. and i like to think i am finally building a solid foundation for feeling beautiful for life.

tonight i am going to the giants game with my coworkers. and we just got paid today. looking forward to spending time with good people and maybe, just maybe, having a beer…hmmm…

have a fabulous evening, kidlettes.



today i woke up curious about one thing: running.

i know, i know. i kicked the habit about a month ago. but something in me today wanted to experiment, to see how my body might react. i promised myself i’d walk if i felt uncomfortable or miserable. so, after rolling out of bed, i chomped down a date, laced up my running shoes (which felt weird) and walked out the door. how’d it go?

a little something like this: brisk walk for five-ish minutes to warm up. then the running began. it definitely felt interesting to move through the running motions again. my pace was slow, though not heavy. it took a couple of minutes to steady my breath but once i did, it felt okay. nothing hurt i’m happy to report. no knee pain, no tight hamstrings. the last mile did not go so well. whatever fun i found in the beginning of the run faded and, in keeping with my promise, i walked the last half mile. in all i think i ran just over three miles (i took my old four mile loop) which to me felt perfect. i came home and stretched it out which felt even better.

will i run again? most likely not. it didn’t feel as fun as i wanted it to be but i’m glad i attempted it. and i’m glad i listened to my body. maybe i’m just not cut out to be a runner. and you know what? that’s okay. now yoga, well…yoga and i are deeply involved in a whirlwind love affair. i’m definitely cut out to do yoga and that makes me happy. i think one of the main reasons i ran is because so many bloggers i admire run. however, i’m learning my body is just that — my body. and i’m listening to it now.

and it totally wanted this perfectly purple smoothie when i got back from my run!

i know it’s a bit difficult to tell, but that smoothie is just about the same color as my bowl! into the blender went one (organic!) banana, the last of my frozen watermelon, some frozen berries, and some farmer’s market kale. topped with cinnamon and coconut. it was good. and filling. however, i’m now freezing. you’d like the middle of august in california might be hot, right? wrong. it is almost one (uh, where’s the day going?) and completely overcast. and cold. the clouds come and night and kind of refuse to leave sometimes. we have yet to have a warm summer night. it’s a complete bummer because warm summer nights are what i look forward to every year. oh well…

i also recently experimented with some mushrooms! i combined the following as a marinade/sauce:
3 t apple cider vinegar
2 t olive oil
1/2 t bragg’s liquid aminos
1 t cumin
1/4 t cayenne
splash of water
squeeze of a lemon
dash of pepper
dash of garlic powder (optional)

then, i roughly chopped some mushrooms and poured the marinade/sauce over them. i let them soak up the flavor for a good day (unintentional. i meant to eat it for dinner later that night but ended up at the giant’s game for jerry garcia tribute night!!!) and the results were really awesome! super spicy (just how i like it) and tasty. i turned it into a wrap. collard green wraps may be my new favorite thing. also, i’m finding i love raw foods. loooove. anyway, it looked a little something like this (hit it!…yeah, i’m a dork, so what? ;))

inside my collard green wrap went the mushrooms, some purple cabbage, and some farmer’s market tomato. how pretty are all those colors together!?! this is why vegetables excite me so much. they’re so pretty.


i also tried okra for the first time yesterday! i bought some after wanting to for a while. i’ve heard of their slimy reputation so i baked them. and paired it with ketchup. um. can we say new obsession?

i saved some for another dish i want to make. i’ll share that with you tomorrow, i’m thinking! anyways, it FINALLY looks like it’s clearing up! and i want to get in my dose of sunshine for the day before work at 5. have a great wednesday, everyone!



as the days of summer continue to whittle away, i’d love to share with you all the emotional, frustrating, exhilarating, and at times frustrating few months i’ve had on this adventure we call life. plus, caitlin’s operation beautiful book just dropped so i figured what better time!

let me start from the beginning. self-confidence has always been an issue for me. i grew up with a mother who trash talked herself and in a culture where thin people earned more respect and attention and “fat talk” was simply a part of life. i floated through middle school envying the skinny popular girls and wondering why i did not receive the same attention from boys. during high school i sunk into the background, never wishing for attention and always shying away from any i got. no one could like me because i was ugly. because i was fat. because i was wholly unacceptable. even my boyfriend in highschool never got to touch me because i was so uncomfortable with myself.

during my first year of college i gained a significant amount of weight. i fell into the trap i swore i would not. my roommates and i spent many a night shoveling processed, unnecessary amounts of foods into our mouths. i did not watch what i ate. and, although i went to the gym, i still managed to gain a good ten pounds. ten pounds on a 5′ 1″ person looks like 20. by the end of freshman year i was absolutely miserable. i hated myself more than ever.

over the summer i lost the weight i gained and in returned gained a new confidence. i got a new boyfriend and a new group of friends. things went swimmingly. then i went to south africa over the summer. during my amazing trip, i managed to loose about ten pounds without trying. we walked everywhere, did not eat late at night, and ate three meals around the same time every day. plus, south africa does not use fake ingredients in their foods. my body took to the movement and the lack of processed foods very well.

so when i came home last august, i made the decision to become a vegetarian (happy one year to me!…though i’m vegan now!) and keep my lifestyle a healthy one. i liked how i looked and i loved how i felt. around the same time, i started to run. i utilized my school’s gym and hit the treadmill before my classes four days a week. although never “fat,” i certainly was not in great shape. i weighed somewhere between 130-135. and i am quite little — 5′ 1″. no one ever mentioned my weight to me besides my doctor, who cautioned against gaining any more weight because, according to the BMI chart, my weight teetered on overweight. (by the way, eff the BMI chart. it’s so ridiculous)

at first the runs were difficult. but eventually, i worked up to running 30 minutes without stopping at a pretty decent pace. i felt accomplished and happy. weight continued to come off. i never weighed myself because i could see and feel the difference. friends and family frequently commented on my weight loss, telling me how “skinny” and “thin” i looked. boys started noticing me more, too. talk about a confidence boost!

but, somewhere over our 6-week winter break, my healthy habits started to become unhealthy. i am a competitive person by nature. i know this about myself and mostly keep it in check but sometimes it gets the best of me. i remember learning of a friend’s completion of a 5-mile run. “wow,” i thought, “i wish i could do that.” so i did. i wanted to be better, to run longer, harder, and faster. so i upped the amount of days i ran. four became five and eventually, five became six and sometimes seven. i never ran under three miles. part of me loved running and part of me despised it. but if i did not run, i did not “deserve” to eat. if i did not run, i would become fat overnight. if i did not run, my entire day was ruined.

during this period of time (which, quite honestly, only ended roughly a month ago) i started unconsciously restricting my food intake. i cut out refined sugars. i cut out high fat foods. avocados scared me. and i cringed when i used “too much” olive oil. high calorie foods caused anxiety to well up inside of me. i questioned eating anything over 200 calories. i remember an instance at a family dinner a few months ago when my dad plated my dish for me. inside a bell pepper he put brown rice. but i thought he put too much and subsequently freaked out. i felt uneasy and panicky. i promptly removed a good portion of it.

when did i turn into this person? when did this beast of an inner voice become so strong?

on days i “over ate” (aka: binged) i killed myself by working out. i ran longer and harder the next day. i pushed myself through work out DVD’s. i found the more i pushed and the more i restricted, the stronger my urge to binge became and the unhappier i felt. suddenly, whenever i looked into the mirror, i did not see a pretty me. instead i saw fat. i saw ugly. i saw “trouble” areas. i cried so much on days where my self confidence refused to come out of its hiding place. i stopped going out because i felt so uncomfortable. i sunk into myself and instead of feeling happy and energetic, i only felt sleepy and depressed. and although i constantly worked out and left little or no room for rest, i found myself gaining weight. and losing my sanity.

i even found myself hunched over the toilet on nights i thought i “ate too much.” i can tell you i’ve always been the person who said “i could never throw up or starve myself” but i did it. and i was always shocked when i did.

about a month ago i made the (incredibly) difficult decision to stop running. almost immediately i felt lighter and happier internally. i threw myself into yoga, now my main source of activity. i cannot express to you how much yoga has helped me along my path to a happy, healthy, more balanced me. yoga lead me to a stronger self, both inner and outer. my core is stronger. my soul is stronger. every time i step off the mat i feel accomplished, proud, and whole. and, unlike running, i actually want to do yoga. yoga saved me from myself.

this summer has been one of growth. i broke down and collapsed and am now rebuilding myself anew. so much has changed in the span of one month. i look in the mirror and appreciate the body staring back at me. and i not only appreciate the body reflected in the glass — i appreciate the person, too. i spent nearly a year caught up in my appearance. i thought my worth as a human being relied on my thin exterior. no one wanted a “fat” girl. how silly. confidence should never be tied to how you look. it should reflect you as a whole. i am slowly starting to see the beauty in myself. i am worthy of all good things. you, my friend, are worthy of all good, beautiful things. i never used to believe in my self worth. but i believe in it now. i am truly a beauty, inside and out. and this beauty has almost done away with that ugly, ugly beast.

i’m not perfect; i have moments of doubt. but i no longer find myself in tears before the mirror. i no longer panic when presented with high calorie, high fat foods. because i realize now i feed myself well. and good food equals a good, healthy mind and body. there is nothing for me to be afraid of now. whenever i find myself in doubt, i remember a few things:

worrying about the superficial only takes away from the joy life
i am all these things i always told myself i was not
and, my personal favorite a la regina spektor, “i have a perfect body, but sometimes i forget.”

i challenge you now to throw out the fat talk. stop doing exercise you hate simply to “burn calories.” find something you actually love to do and will bring pure happiness to your life. write out a list of everything you appreciate about yourself and tack it above your mirror.

but most of all, believe in yourself. believe in yourself and you’ll find that beast gone, once and for all.



hey kidlettes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

have a great day, kidlettes.