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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: chocolate

recent realization: i eat way, way too many nuts. and what happens when you eat way, way too many nuts? well, nuts are harder for the body to digest. so you get bloating (check). you get constipation (hah. check. for sure). you get an uncomfortable fullness (check). you get gas (check). you get indigestion (check). and you get an incredibly slow digestive time (aaaand check!).

with all these things in check (pun intended. why yes, i am a dork!), it’s no wonder i’ve been experiencing a lot of tummy issues. “they say” to eat one handful of nuts per day, two maximum. i’m preeetty sure i’ve overdone it in the past few months. why? because i love nut-butters. a lot. and because i am new to raw foods and nuts help replace things like meat and faux-meats like tofu and tempeh. i am in no way a raw foodie. i just love the way raw food makes me feel (save for all the nutty nut business.)

so i’m finally taking the cue from my body and cutting back on nuts. when i finish off my (costco) sized jaw of maranatha almond butter, i am not buying any more. ditto with the trader joe’s peanut butter (which i really don’t eat…i’ve noticed i am not the biggest peanut butter fan anymore! almond butter stole the show!) and with trader joe’s sunflower seed butter (sad day!). i will also be cutting back on the amount of nut-based raw desserts i consume (le sigh. cafe gratitude.).

additionally, i am cutting chocolate out of my diet — yet again. i felt so awesome for the month i stayed away from it. no crazy emotional mood swings, no break outs, no uncontrolable cravings for sweets. clearly chocolate (and sugar, for that matter) effects me negatively. additionally, sugar feeds into my body’s ability to develop yeast infections at the drop of a hat (tmi? sorry.). i’m pretty sure it’s a genetic thing so processed sugars need to be at a minimum in my life. when i avoided sweets (and dairy!) the instances of these infections dropped. i can always tell when i consume too much sugar because my body responds accordingly.

you might think i am being controlling and over-sensitive. yes, i am. and with good cause. because i don’t feel well. i feel bloated a lot. constipated a lot. uncomfortable a lot. i’m just a lot of things i don’t ever really remember being in the past. so i’m ready to listen to my body fully and see if i get somewhere. will i forever stay away from nuts? hells no! i love nuts. i think i need to incorporate more seeds into my diet in addition to nuts. and i am going to experiment with soaking my nuts and seeing if that aids in digestion.

i have a weird stomach and always have. i’m really ready to figure out what it doesn’t like and what it jives with. hello goal for 2011!

what have you noticed works well for you? anyone else have issues with nuts?

have a wonderful sunday! it’s raining over here. meh. looks like a treadmill run is in my future!

namaste

zoe

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)

namaste!

zoe!

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

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

vacation went a little like this:

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

smokey and i got a little friendly 😉

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

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

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

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

i also got to bake another cake!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

until then…

namaste!

zoe!

gaah david bowie warms my heart.

what a day what a day.

good news: the MRI of my knee revealed NOTHING BAD. doc told me i could run as much as i want, as hard as i want and no damage will be done. score one! after lunch i received a knock-knock on my front door. upon answering, one of my really good friends stood before me! we went on a solid 45 minute bike ride in the sunshine. score two! i did a new baptise power yoga flow today. score three! and i whipped up healthy eats all day. score four!

until, well, about half an hour ago. am i bummed i binged again? yes. am i beating myself up for it? not really. want to know why?

i am currently reading skinny bitch. not for diet reasons, not because i want to go vegan (check and check), but because i wanted to see what all the hype was about! reviews on several blogs discuss the gruesome detail the authors include in their book. while i absolutely loathe the title, i am finding the book inspiring as well as informative. no wonder i feel better without dairy in my life. since cracking these pages i have yet to crave any form of animal product (how nose-in-air-hoity-toity does that sound?).

how does this relate to me not feeling badly about bingeing again? (well, don’t get me wrong, i do feel badly. not so much guilty, just…disappointed. i am disappointed i disrespected my body again. new way of handling these compulsive needs to eateateat? telling myself how much i am eating. i.e: you just ate a cup of flour. you just ate half a cup of chocolate chips (assuming i’m baking here). putting the portions in perspective usually helps!)

because i just read this:

it is well known in alcoholics anonymous that you’re only “one drink away from your next drunk.” this means we think we can control our addictions. “i’ll just have one drink. i’ll just have pizza this one time. i’ll just eat half a piece of cake.” the truth of the matter is that we are powerless over our addictions…it is very easy to obliterate all your progress with one bite, sip, or puff.

and this:

heroin, cocaine, alcohol and nicotine all trigger the brain’s pleasure circuitry. and not surprisingly, chocolate, sugar, and cheese also affect this same part of the brain. so you see, we can be physiologically addicted to food.

and this:

when we eat, all of our body’s energy goes toward digesting, using, and storying the food and eliminating the waste. when we don’t eat, all of our body’s energy goes toward digesting, using, and storing the food, and eliminating the waste. when we don’t eat, all of our body’s energy goes toward cleaning house…after two to three days of fasting, the body goes into autolysis, and actually starts digesting its own cells. with its wisdom, the body selectively decomposes the tissues and cells that are diseased, damaged, old dead or in excess (fat).

why paragraph one matters:
it IS very easy to obliterate all your progress with one bit, sip, or puff. i have come so far. so, so, so far. i put so much effort into rebuilding my body and my diet. yet, recently, i have allowed my vices to return stronger than ever. although i bake up brownies with intentions of “just eating one chunk” i loose all control and down the entire pan. i cannot control my addiction.

why paragraph two matters:
what is my addiction? plain and simple. sugar and chocolate. i am a sweets whore. and i always have been. i love food, all kinds. but i especially love sweets. i have a raging sweet tooth that refuses to be ignored. i know it is possible to tame — i did it last summer and basically for the past year with a few mishaps. i am physiologically addicted to sugar (although i do not consume refined sugar any more and have not for a while now. in this way i KNOW it is possible to overcome addictions. i used to love a lot of foods i can not imagine eating now. animal products anyone?).

why paragraph three matters:
i finally figured out what happened to my stomach last summer. that paragraph references a part of skinny bitch where the authors go into detail about fasting. now, i did not fast last summer, far from it. but i ate significantly less. i did not eat late at night and when i did eat, i ate enough to fill me up and stopped. mostly though, i did not eat sugar and chocolate like i did back in the states. when i eased up on the bad shit, my body hugged me from the inside out. no wonder my skin cleared up. no wonder i felt happy all the time. no wonder my stomach disappered.

so what does this all really mean?

i’m giving up my addiction for thirty days. i will not bake a single thing. i will not eat anything chocolate-y. i will ignore my body’s demand for my food drugs.

i am going to jump start the thirty days by eating only raw foods for one week. i know my body reacts well to raw foods — quite by accident i ate raw for a few days this past semester. mood? up. energy? up. weight? down. stomach? flat.

i know what i have to do. i know this will be difficult. but i also know i will benefit from it immensely, both physically and mentally. my body will fight me with intense cravings but i know i am stronger than those cravings. i am stronger than i think. i am starting next monday.

before i do that though, i’d like to share with you a recipe i just made. for awesomely fudge-y brownies. (adapted from the lovely mama pea!)

what you’ll need:
1/2 cup millet flour (i usually bake gluten free things. i find my body reacts well to gluten free food. i am in no way allergic and totally still eat gluten-y foods from time to time, but my stomach is always less…ahem, gassy when i eat gluten free!)
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
half a t xanthan gum (fasho found this at target for like…11 dollars! cheapest yet. so i splurged :))
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix!)
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses (molasses is full of iron! and feel free to use regular molasses too. i just have blackstrap on hand!)
1 T agave
2 T vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (make sure they’re vegan! unless you’re not vegan ;))

what you’ll need to do:
preheat the oven to 350

mix all dry ingredients. mix all wet ingredients (in another bowl!). add wet to dry. it will be kind of doughy. add chocolate chips then spread out into a (small) pan. i used my hands to press out the batter since it was pretty thick. pop into oven and cook for about 20 minutes.

these turned out really well. i’ve been experimenting with molasses as a sweetener lately (i do not cook with refined sugars. unless i am cooking for someone else :)) and YUM. it adds a mild sweetness. these are certainly not ridiculously sweet brownies. the chocolate chips add the best subtle sweetness and the pumpkin provides a dense, fudge-y consistency. seriously, these are really good. i will be sad to give them up! but such in life. i will survive.

hope everything is well where you are kidlettes. i have some exciting news to share with you tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled 🙂

namaste.

zoe.

and how was the rest of everyone’s monday?

mine involved nothing special. the highlights: i decided against a run and instead decided to start gina’s summer shape up, albeit a few weeks late. it’s four weeks long and it’s week four now…oh well, better late than never, right? right. following this i picked up my last paycheck from work (score!), went to trader joes (double score!) and then target.

the real highlight of my day though? bikram yoga, of course! that hot hot heat is so cathartic. i’m finding it much easier to breathe deeply and go inside myself during difficult poses. as a society we tend to rush rush rush and rarely break to step back, breathe and appreciate. i find yoga a great outlet for this. bikram demands concentration and inner strength. today proved that. i found the balancing poses difficult today and had to concentrate that much more. but i loved every second of it. i walked out of the studio soaked through and through. nothing like a good sweat, right :)!

i toyed with the idea of hanging out with friends but i was feeling a lame night. what do lame nights consist of? relaxing on the couch with a movie or a book. i made a deliciously simple dinner of quinoa cooked in coconut milk and assorted roasted veggies. then i retired to the couch for arrested development. who else misses this show? why crap like the jersey shore remains on tv while smart, witty shows like arrested development get cut will forever baffle me. i think it speaks volumes about america and americans. any thoughts regarding this?

after dinner i ate too much ice cream and chocolate. and then proceeded to feel sick until i fell asleep ugh. but it’s all gone. and it will NOT be bought for a while.

these past couple of days have lead me to one conclusion: i think i need to detox from chocolate. i’ve decided to file a trail separation from chocolate until further notice. yes, you heard me correctly — i’m going against all girl code and avoiding chocolate. i need to. it’s literally making me ill because i cannot control myself around it right now. until i relearn how to include it in my life in a HEALTHY way, i will not eat chocolate. raw cacao powder? i’ll still eat that. but chocolate chocolate? kicked to the curb. will this be hard to do? YES. yesyesyes. i love chocolate. but thinking about it right now has my stomach flip flopping and threatening to heave up everything i ate. literally the thought of chocolate makes me absolutely want to barf. plus, all this overeating of junk food will affect my runs. it did on sunday — i ran a little over 2 miles and spent the remainder of the day feeling complete nauseous. seriously, all the crap food combined with my run killed my appetite. i’m tired of feeling sick. DEEETOX tiiiime!

so i woke up this morning with a better resolve. i drank a green monster because all i wanted was greens greens greens and half an hour later, i set out on a tentative 6.5 mile run. why so tentative you ask? well, after sunday’s disasterous run i was really nervous of a repeat. so i set out slowly at first. VERY slowly. after about two miles of feeling fine, i upped my speed. and found my body just wanted to go fast fast fast. i felt fine. i felt better then fine, actually — i sang. oh, i know, how cool am i ;)?

i think it’s because i put on my newest play list. what’s on this play list? glad you asked 🙂

4 songs & a fight — the sounds
womanizer — britney spears
talk to me — peaches
satellite mind — metric
S.O.S — rihanna
play your part (pt 1) — girltalk
na na na na naa — kaiser cheifs
love today — mika
lace and leather — britney spears
L.O.V.E — ashlee simpson
just a girl — no doubt (this is where i started singing)
it’s gonna be me — nsync (oh yeah. i went there.)
in your arms — hellogoodbye
i remember — kaskade
here’s the thing — girltalk
hands in the air — girltalk
gold guns girls — metric
ghosts n’ stuff — deadmau5
forever — chris brown (i really dislike him. but i really effin love this song!)
combat baby — metric (LOVE.)
bye bye bye — nsync

this one was heavy on some solid 90’s classics. i listen to ridiculous music when i run. i love good beats when i run, if you haven’t noticed. but i need new songs! any suggestions? what do you love listening to when you work out????

also, i noticed something about my few days of overeating. the funniest part about this whole ordeal? my self esteem has yet to nose dive. usually whenever i “over eat” i feel AWFUL about myself. but i still think i look pretty bangin’. sure, i might be a little puffy from all the crap but i know this week of good eats will take care of that. i still got it 😉

this week i have a LOT to talk about. stay tuned for posts about skin care, weight loss talk, new work outs and other things i might just stick in 🙂

oh, and please please please send me some good vibes today — i have my MRI at 3:30 today for my left knee!!!!!

(sorry for such a scattered post!!!!!)

namaste!

zoe!

after four long years, it’s finally here folks…

THE EFFIN’ WORLD CUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (multiply that my 3 million and you’ll just scratch the surface of how excited i am.)

i love soccer. literally. i am in love with it. i played on a team from the ages of 3-19. i lived it, breathed it, ate it. in high school i sacrificed weekends at soccer tournaments and always enjoyed every last sweaty minute. i love the competition. i loved taking girls out (the legal way. i hate cheap shots). i loved scoring goals. i loved the team work involved. I. LOVE. SOCCER. (football!!!)

not only do i love soccer and not only did the world up start today, but it’s in SOUTH AFRICA!!!!! my home away from home. last summer we got to see them building the actual stadiums! at least the ones in capetown.

i miss this place every single day. a piece of my heart will forever be there.


(i took those, just in case you were wondering :))

i cannot imagine being there right now. the government was prepping for the massive influx of people. it must be an absolute madhouse. i remember too that the government was attempting to cover up all the poverty. they put up fences along the major freeways to partially hide all the informal shanty-town settlements (the houses made of tin and plastic and garbage.) it makes me sick to think that, just for the sake of tourism, the south african government tried to cover up the real state of their country. out of sight, out of mind, right? ugh.

regardless, i cannot express enough how much i would kill to be there right now. my mom even suggested my dad and i go but a) um, that’s ridiculously expensive and b) my dad had to work. BUMMER. so i’ll just have to watch each and every game instead. oh darn…;)

le siiigh. moving on…

yesterday i did something i swore i never would or could do: i went running without music! i went on my friend trail run and just enjoyed my surroundings. my music was the tree branches catching the wind and the soft chirps of early morning birds. oh, and the flies serving are cheerleaders around my ears the entire time. that buzzing sound sucks so much.

but it was beautiful. i took it easy for my knees sake (i scheduled an MRI for next tuesday…fingers crossed it’s not a torn anything…) and just ran an easy couple of miles in about twenty minutes. nice nice nice way to start the day. i spent the rest of it lounging around, biking riding to a friends and then the farmer’s market and then home.

i had some good eats yesterday, too. i’m really trying to eat more as well as eat more balanced meals. i think i did okay yesterday. protein oatmeal in the morning after my run. yum.

lunch:

a salad with a head of romaine, half a mango, and a quarter of an avocado. lemon/agave/olive oil dressing. i think next time no agave. it’s just too sweet for me. anyone else have that issue?

and a slice of tempeh covered with some almond butter and homemade preserves. (if you’re wondering why it’s not in between two pieces of bread it’s because i ran out of bread forever ago and haven’t bought any. keep forgetting.)

dinner was some farmer’s market finds!

sweet potato, farmer’s market collard greens sauteed with some olive oil, a sliver of earth balance, salt, pepper, and spaghetti squash. yuum.

dessert was an unpictured bowl of dark chocolate chips :)!

i just got back from an early morning bikram session. god i love bikram! i am most definitely getting stronger in my back. when i first started, cobra pose, boat pose, airplane pose and all the poses using your back muscles were SO difficult to hold. but now i look forward to them! don’t you love feeling yourself getting stronger?

i also looked forward to this little number:

gina’s breakfast cookie!

in this was 1/3 cup oats, one T chocolate protein powder, one T almond butter, 2 T almond milk, 1/2 a nanner, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of chocolate chips. stuck it in the fridge overnight. DELICIOUS. this plus the rest of my mango from yesterday and breakfast rockedddd.

the rest of the day will consist of some reading (just checked out middle sex from my library! i love jeffery eugenides. the virgin suicides was so great. i read it last summer so i figured i’d read his other book this summer!), some more awesome food, and a dinner in berkeley with my family, aunts and uncles included. it’s my cousin’s graduation dinner! he’s off to USC in the fall. after dinner i’m pretty sure i’ll park myself in front of the television for some world cup action (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

before i go, imma leave you with a little more south africa.














namaste!

zoe!

good morning, kidlettes!

not only did i just spend 20 minutes attempting to get mango out of my teeth (just one of my many methods for attracting the opposite sex!), but it’s all kinds of grey outside. i’m hoping the sun will burn off all of this low hanging fog by noon (like it usually does in the summer) but i’m not quite sure it will. it’s 10:30 already and still pretty damn bleak.

anywho.

the rest of yesterday ended up being pretty rad-tastic. (just a quick fyi: i love making up words. and ridiculous sayings. you might see some…or a lot…from time to time. do not be alarmed — it’s just me being all weird-like!). i biked around and kicked it with some friends. i got to reintroduce myself to thebestvideogameever (nerd alert!) super smash brothers brawl! (for the wii). i played a borderline disgusting amount of brawl last year. it was fun to indulge a little.

following my mini geek-out i came home to make dinner. which was nothing special, i assure you. just some sauteed onions, spinach, chick peas, and half of a beet i roasted the other day. it was tasty. but the REAL tasty part came after dinner. dessert holds a special place in my heart. on my path toward healthy living, i found my body reacts really poorly to high doses of sugar. B-U-M-M-E-R. i just cannot handle very much of it at one time. so, what’s a girl with a massivo sweet tooth supposed to do? recreate her favorite desserts with a healthy spin, of course!

now you’ve all seen this before. it ain’t nothin’ new. banana soft serve a la gena. i scream, you scream, we all scream for bananasoftserve! that has a great ring to it, i know 😉

BUT, trust me this is a HUGE but, i think i just found my most favorite way to add a bit more decadence to it.

remember this stuff?

magic shell made for some magic sundae’s when i was a kid. i luuurved the chocolate flavor. well duh, that’s because i love chocolate. i might bathe in chocolate if given the opportunity. but that’s besides the point. the point is this: this stuff is pretty not-good for you.

ingredients: SUGAR, SUNFLOWER OIL, COCONUT OIL, COCOA, CHOCOLATE, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, VANILLA, MILK.

when sugar is the first ingredient, that’s a major boo. the rest is not too bad but i know i could go without the huge sugar dosage. plus the nutrition stats don’t look so stellar, either. per 2 T you get 210 calories, 17 g fat with 7 g of that being saturated. and 16 grams of sugar! no thanks, imma pass.

and instead i’ll add this to the top of my mountain of banana soft serve: DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND SPREAD!

this is what i did:
i froze bananas.
i places roughly 1.5-2 (ish) bananas in my food processor.
i processed for a few minutes.
i scraped down the sides a couple of times.
i added 1 T carob powder for extra chocolatey-ness.
i processed for a few more minutes.
i scraped into a bowl.

then, magic happen. heavenly, delicious magic.

i took 1 T maranatha’s dark chocolate almond spread and melted it in the microwave for 30 seconds. i stirred it up and drizzled it over my mound of soft serve. it looked beautiful. and mouthwatering. i snapped a quick picture before completely destroying it.

and you know what i found when i started to inhale it dig in?

THE DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND SPREAD HARDENED EXACTLY LIKE MAGIC SHELL!!!!!!!!! best. discovery. EVER. evereverEVER. i am making this again tonight it was so good. i am a happy happy girl.

just look at it!

(however, just now i looked at the ingredient list for this. while it’s not as processed or as “bad” for you as magic shell, i think the list could be a whooole lot better. plus it’s not vegan, sorry kara! i think in the future i will either a) make my own chocolatey-almond spread OR buy one with better ingredients. any suggestions as to different brands!?!)

i was so satisfied with this. i was literally BEAMING. ahhh…food, glorious food! plus this stuff didn’t have any dairy in it which, sooooometimes, upsets my stomach or makes me a little bloaty-gasy. (oh hey honesty, what up!) following this bowl of awesome i biked back to my friends house and partied a little before retiring to bed. i forget how sleepy wine can make me…(partying with wine…the classy college student.)

but i wanted to touch on something i’ve been thinking a lot about lately. i know i’ve mentioned this before but bare with me. let me start by saying this: i love every part of my body except for one place. i love my legs, i love my arms, i love my face (when it doesn’t break out!), i love my hair, i love my butt, i love my shoulders, i love my back. i DO NOT, however, love my stomach. you all know this, i’ve lamented about it before. no matter what i do i still manage to carry around this little pouch. i’ve lost over 20 pounds and STILL this bump remains. by the end of the day, i can most certainly look 4 months pregnant. talk about a self-esteem deterrent. BIG TIME.

my girl, as i not-so-affectionally call it, has been the source of my body-image misery since i was a kid. i cried about it in middle school, i cry about it today. laaaameeeoooo. it seriously upsets me, particularly because last summer when i went away, IT went away. big time. my lower abdomen shrunk considerably. i loved it and never thought twice about it. upon returning back to the states though, it has returned a considerable amount. so while every other part of me has toned up and looks pretty great, my lower abdomen has not.

when i read all of these healthy living blogs i love so much, every picture these wonderful women post of themselves gets me down a bit. i try so hard to not get caught up in the comparison game (much easier said then done, i know) but dang guys, it’s so hard. all of these women seem to possess these amazingly flat stomachs. and if they’re not entirely flat, they’re definitely not “4 months pregnant”, either. i feel like a failure. what did i do to make my stomach re-inflate like it has? i work out 5-6 days a week. i switch it up. i eat well. it’s driving me insane. aaaaabsolutely bonkers. is it because i don’t eat as much i should considering my muscle mass? is it because i eat too much fruit? is it because of gluten (which i have slowly cut out of my diet for experiments sake)? is it because i don’t drink enough water? is it because i am bloating? is it because i am obsessing about it? is it….?

whatever it is, i really want to figure it out. i know genetics plays an important role, but i also know it is completely possible for me to have a flatter stomach because i had one not even a year ago. without any stupid abs exercises. and without any ridiculous amounts of exercise.

ugh. can anyone help me recovery my sanity? this fixating business is so not healthy, that much i know.

so now i’m going to forget myself on my yoga mat. does anyone else have yogamazing podcasts? the instructor, chaz, offers a bunch of different classes. they’re really nice. i think i’ll do one of his and then a yogadownload. i need to pump up the endorphins before a tummy-related mood sweeps over me.

have a good day, everyone!

namaste

zoe

beatles fun fact: In 1962 a contest was held by the Mersyside Newspaper to see who was the most popular band in Liverpool. The Beatles won the contest by calling in and posing as different people voting for themselves.

good evening kidlettes!

currently chowing down on dinnerrrr. it’s a good one! i’ll get to that in a second. let me rewind a little bit first.

did everyone have a nice weekend? i hope so! i ended mine on a great note. i had my LAST DAY at my job! donedonedoneee. so happy! yesterday i woke up with absolutely nothing planned. i debated a run. i debated a free day. i did not, however, debate breakfast! i bought gluten free oats (bob’s red mill) and decided to give them a test run. they ended up looking quite beautiful (oats? beautiful? i’m weird.)

in the bowl:
1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water (plus a little more)
a ton of cinnamon
half a nanner

topped with:
1 (heaping!) T dark chocolate almond spread
a few cinnamon puffins
unsweetened coconut

sadly i think the gluten free oats cook differently and the portion was WAY smaller than “normal” rolled oats. and the coconut milk flavor didn’t shine through as much as i’d would of liked it to. so i ate this to round out a fully satisfying breakfast:

do you guys like melon? i LOVE melon. any kind. candace hates it. (weirdo).

yesterday i really tried to eat three solid meals and at least one snack. started off well, if i do say so myself ;)!

after breakfast i happened to catch the “adventure list” on our fridge. candace and a few friends of ours created a list of “adventures” to go on when we could not think of anything else to do. one it? walk across the golden gate bridge! believe it or not, before yesterday, despite living less than 20 minutes from it my entire life, i’ve only walked across the bridge ONCE. when i was six. i one upped the adventure and decided to run it! i invited my mom along and my dad jumped on board last minute. they walked while i ran from the marin side to the san francisco side. i met them up in the middle. a quick two-ish miles! i’m getting faster, too, folks :)! happyhappy.

honestly, i love spending time with my parents. the older you get, the more you want to go home. interesting, hmmm ;)?

once we got home we aaaall wanted food. my dad threw together a pretty little veggie pizza on cornmeal crust (of which i had once slice) and i threw together a pretty substantial salad:

in the salad: one head romaine, one roasted carrot, cherry tomatoes, roasted corn, navy beans, and sauteed mushrooms (left over from the pizza!). daaang. this hit the spot. anyone else crave salads for lunch? it’s a must in my life just about every day. i try to vary it though. otherwise i might bore myself to death. death by salad…who would of thought!

following lunch my brother accompanied me to whole foods where i purchased the final bits for dinner. i’m a dork and brought food from my apartment home to cook for dinner. i couldn’t abandon operation clean out the pantry! plus i dreamed up a pretty tasty dish…vegan enchiladas! i got inspired by susan over at fatfree vegan kitchen and angela at oh she glows.

guys…these turned out phenominal. they were so ridiculously tasty! please try them, or any variation you’d like. vegan enchiladas make for one happy tummy!

what you’ll need:
one spaghetti squash
one medium sweet potato
one ezekiel wrap
one block firm tofu
one can tomato sauce
one T oregano
one T basil
one t salt
one T cayenne (or any other hot spice. i used this amazing one my dad got at a spice store. can’t remember the name, sorry! also — use as much spice as you’d like. you know how i like me some spicy eats!)
enchilada sauce (use as much as you’d like)
“cheese” (i bought that daiya i’ve read about because it was on sale. you guys. this stuff ROCKS! sosososososooo good. and worth that $$$!)

what you’ll need to do:
preheat oven to 400
cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out insides. place in baking ban with about an inch of water. drizzle olive oil over the halves before adding as much salt, pepper, and minced garlic as you’d like. stab holes into the sweet potato. bake for 40 minutes, remove the squash, up the temp to 450 and cook sweet potato for another 20 minutes.

meanwhile, prep your tofu! drain water and press for at least half a hour to get out all excess water. once ready, crumble into bits and pieces in a bowl so it resembles ground beef.

in another bowl, mix together tomato sauce and spices!

dump sauce on tofu and let marinate, covered, in the fridge for at least half an hour. (mine sat for about an hour).

allow sweet potato and squash to cool. scrap half of the squash into a bowl. (i saved the other half for more things to come this week!). cut sweet potato in half. take out wraps! spread half of the sweet potato in the middle of the wrap. layer it with the squash. then the tofu. the final product (before wrapping) should look like this:

it may not look appetizing but just trust me on this one.

you’ll want the oven at 350 now. cover a small pan (about 8 by 3) with a layer of enchilada sauce (i used trader joe’s bottled because it was in my pantry. but next time i don’t think i will. the ingredient list was super long…). carefully roll up your wrap and place in pan. cover with as much enchilada sauce as you want. (i made a small half wrap for my mom, too!) looks like this:

bake for 15 minutes in oven before taking out and adding “cheese”. cook for five more minutes. take out and stare down at deliciousness:

then you plate! and devour! (i plated both enchiladas before putting my moms on a separate plate. hence the messy, unattractive plate.)

not only did my mom (a non-vegetarian/vegan) LOVE this, but my brother tried a bite and asked me to make one for him too. and they said i ate weird food 😉 the flavors just went really well together. it was super filling. later my bother and i went for some fro-yo. gooood night.

going home always puts me a great food as i’ve said before. it gives me a chance to relax and catch up with my family. my brother and i managed to squeeze in a mini hike before dinner. we live up in the hills and hiked up one. at the top there were swings!

the views were gorgeous.

it was a good day.

i spent the night at my house because this morning i went to the bakery i got hooked up with. however, it did not go as planned…i didn’t get the internship 😦 she said it was bad timing, as she was looking to actually hire someone, not take on an intern. she also said i needed to improve my skills as well, as i wasn’t quick enough in the kitchen. at one point i was removing thyme from branches and she said: “you got to learn how to manage your time!” haha, pun intended? i’m not sure. regardless, i laughed. it’s true — in the kitchen, especially one THAT busy, (line-out-the-door busy kidlettes!) time is essential.

i agree, i most definitely do. but it’s still a bummer. i’m looking on the bright side though — she said i could always come back after i got a little training and was super encouraging about getting practice. she was really nice about the whole thing. plus, i learned how to crack an egg one handed today — in BOTH hands! and she gave me free pastries for my time.

summer has a whole new outlook now. i’m going to find a new job i will hopefully enjoy and i’m actually kind of excited. it will be much more relaxing then planned. i can always enjoy more relaxation.

like right now. this is a LONG post. and i had a major hot yoga session earlier so all i want to do is curl up with some tea and a documentary. nightnight kidlettes!

namaste

zoe

…is really not fun. today at work i was grabbing a shoe for a customer and needed to use the ladder. so i opened it up, climbed to the top, and just after i grabbed it, it totally collapsed under me. the reason? i didn’t open it all the way. ugh. luckily, though, instead of falling completely to the floor, it caught the edge of the manager’s desk. my shins caught my fall…i slammed against the ladder. all i can say is OW. OW OW OOOOW. holy crap it hurt. i have two HUGE bruises (which i would show you but someone hasn’t shaved in a couple of days ;)) and for about forty minutes, my legs burned and walking was painful. yeah i learned a lesson today — open the ladder all the way to avoid an excruciating wipe out.

but not all of my day sucked so hard. i woke up this morning, jumped out of bed and, instead of running my four mile loop, i biked it! hard and fast. it was a good, light cardio shesh. i followed it with a 75 minute power yoga flow from yogadownload! i just bought this one recently during their memorial day sale for dirt cheap. it’s a great flow.

following a delicious breakfast (um. i think any breakfast containing maranatha‘s dark chocolate almond spread is delicious.) i popped over to a really close friend of mine’s house. she officially left today. for good. bummer.

so, to cheer myself up, i made a fantabulous lunch!

three egg whites mixed with half a medium sweet potato and nut butter roasted carrot fries! mmmm. i was craving egg whites, sweet potato, and nut butter fries. i love listening to the cues my body gives me 🙂 this was followed by a handful of strawberries. then work. not so cool.

oh! my doctor’s appointment: might be a torn miniscus. here is why i don’t think so: when i laid off of running for two whole (painful) weeks, my knee felt back to normal. then i ran. and ran. and ran. oops. i think it’s just a matter of resting it. it feels better today, too! so will not opt for the suggested MRI at this time. if it continues to bother me, i will MRI-it up!

dinner last night was also good news:

half a “pizza” (ezekiel wrap!) topped with tomato paste, spinach, indian spiced carmalized onions (my FAVORITE!) and 1/4th of an avocado. so simple, so delicious. i paired it with a huge pile of roasted veggies:

following this came an orange, some carob chips, and a big cup of vanilla roobis tea (unsweetened with a splash of unsweetened almond milk!). i then watched two documentaries and passed out. i’m on a roll with these documentaries.

can anyone suggest a good book, though? i love documentaries but i love reading too!

also, i just realized i have a ridiculous amount of food in my kitchen. tomorrow will start the beginning of operation eat through the pantry. be on the look out for some good eats :)!

and i’m out, kidlettes!

beatles fun fact: The Beatles song “Dear Prudence” was written about Mia Farrow’s sister, Prudence, when she wouldn’t come out and play with Mia and the Beatles at a religious retreat in India

namaste

zoe

goooooood morning, kidlettes :)!

yesterday i got lost.

not literally, but i did loose myself among some trees with one of my best friends for life! renee:

we attempted to take on the mount tamalpais/dispsea/pantoll hiking route which takes a good five hours AND stops at the beach at one point. however, the directions we wrote down were not very helpful and we never quite figured it out. but, we DID end up in muir woods…and for FREE! the trail we took brought us in the back way. for sure memorizing that trail 😉

it was a good 3-ish mile hike. plus, we were surrounded by a lot of these:

redwoods are so beautiful guys. i had no idea that muir woods was one of the only places these giant beauties grew. there were so many tourists! i am so lucky to live in such a gorgeous area where access to nature like this is possible at the drop of a hat.

i love looking up and seeing this:

and this:

nature is so breathtaking. can you believe i used to hate everything about it? i deemed myself a city girl who loathed anything with dirt and leaves. phffft, glad that phase passed! anyone else go through funny phases like that? what have you “hated” and eventually ended up LOVING with all your heart and soul? honestly, i cannot imagine being far away from nature. it’s so centering and calming. i love playing around in it 🙂

along the way we ran into this little guy!

caterpillars are so rad! especially when they’re all fuzzy and neon like that little guy!

when we hit the muir woods entrance, we got to relive some childhood memories. we went on field trips to muir woods all the time in grade school. in retrospect, how amazing is that? god i love california!

that tree was here before the aztecs AND before christopher columbus. nature. rocks. my. socks. OFF!

it was just a beautiful day, through and through.

next time we’ll find the right trail 😉 i loved getting “lost” though! plus after our hike i got to go home and have dinner with my family. i love seeing them, as i’ve mentioned several times before. we went to one of our favorite eateries where i got the only vegan option on the menu: (2) crispy quinoa & potato pancakes served over roasted summer squash and sauteed kale. there was some olives too but i hate olives. they’re too salty. it’s the only food item i can’t stand. it was really good but i wish they spiced the quinoa more. i think a lot of people don’t realize quinoa by itself is pretty bland…following dinner we got some fro yoooo! i got some chocolate (a-duuuuh!) and for the first time added not candy but FRUIT to my treat! chocolate + raspberries = HEAVEN. forever a fruit + froyo fan :)!

i reluctantly left my family and headed home to visit with my friend who leaves tomorrow. permanantly :(. super bummer. it was really fun though, glad i went!

this morning i woke up with a new(ish) bowl of oatmeal in mind! i just ran out of any form of nut butter (does anyone else feel seriously depressed when this happens? haha!) so i spiced up my oatmeal bowl like thiiiiiiis:

this would be 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1 T oat bran, 1 T raw cacao powder, about a t and a half of ground flax (left over from my little morning drink cranberry + water + 1 T ground flax!), a bit of unsweetened coconut, a couple of carob chips, a couple of cinnamon puffins (um. the best cereal ever?!?!), and two freshly cut strawberries. mmmmm!

it was good 🙂 very filling! the strawberries, unfortunately, were not as awesome as farmer’s market strawberries! but they were good. i got them at the new MASSIVE mexican market in my hometown. talk about awesomely cheap produce. i bought two coconuts (!!!) and two mangos (!!!!!!!) among a couple of other things. umm…thai food anyone? oh, it’s going down 😉

i plan on dedicating the rest of the day to nothing in particular. i have a knee doctor’s appointment in an hour (will update!) and then i am hitting up that new whole paycheck foods i hit up the other day. imma buy a few goodies, i’m thinking! depending on what the doctor says, i will either be running or doing a nice sweaty yoga sessssh.

till then, kidlettes! enjoy the day 🙂

beatles fun fact: The Beatles featured two left handed members, Paul, whom everyone saw holding his Hoffner bass left handed, and Ringo, whose left handedness is at least partially to blame for his ‘original’ drumming style.

namaste!

zoe!