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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: dessert

might be my newest obsession. it’s getting bad. but oh-so-good.

but glee is more than just a show.

glee is taking the plunge and buying the most comfortable things my feet have ever slipped into.

glee is climbing. and seeing these sites (this is from a few weeks back)

glee is baking a cake for people you love (k’s cake…) a triple layer chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and a chocolate peanut butter glaze a la smitten kitchen. (no, it’s not vegan. i was told it tasted like “a reeses cup!”

glee is going out with friends on saturday night. and drinking a beer.

yes. i am that short.

and glee…well, glee is feeling more comfortable in your skin each and every day. it’s a process, but i’m getting there. and i couldn’t be happier.

hope you all had a wonderful weekend. i’m going to cap off this sunday with some more glee. are you surprised :)?

what brings you glee?



it’s my birthday too, yeah! happy birthday to you!

well guys, i made it. i officially arrive at my 21st year. i’m not going to lie. i’m pretty damn stoked. what does a birthday girl do in the last few minutes of the year 20? finish up her birthday cake, of course.


fitting for the season, no? and my taste buds. oh boy. do i ever love me some pumpkin. i trimmed the edges of the cake for two equal sized layers and lemme tell you, late night snacking has never been more delicious. i wish the recipe was mine but alas, it is not. it’s cafe gratitudes. what? did you expect something different ;)? just trust me when i tell you this is better than any cream cheese frosting i’ve ever had. and it might just win the award for best pumpkin related dessert i’ve ever had the good fortune of eating. it’s going to be a sweet birthday 🙂

i have a long drunken weekend ahead of me. i don’t party much but i think this weekend i will make an exception to my rule. just maybe 😉 i’ll give you the deets on sunday. (i’m sorry i just said deets.)

do you have any special weekend plans? regardless, i hope you have a great weekend!

but for now, i’ve got to go. i’ve got some dishes to attend to…


the newly 21 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)



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

so i forgot to mention last post something remotely interesting.

last weekend my little broha came up to spend some time with me. i took him out to lunch and we ended up at — where else? — cafe gratitude! i ended up buying their desserts book because i am absolutely in love with their dessert as well as the rest of their food. i also bought it because my brother and i decided to spend the afternoon making one of the delicious creations! we settled in the strawberry shortcake layer cake. so last weekend i made my first raw dessert. how’d it come out? so good i forgot to take a picture before it was demolished. all apologies. it was amazing though! colored pink with beet juice and tasting like real strawberries (because, go figure, it used real strawberries!)

yesterday i somehow ended up back in cafe gratitude for a little solo dinner. i would like to blame the late friday afternoon traffic for that one. to avoid sitting in a hot car and moving a foot per minute, i decided to lounge and eat an early dinner. i ordered a latte (with steamed hazlenutmilk! this is the only place i drink coffee at) and for dinner, my waiter (my very cute waiter) hooked me up with the last special of the day: A STUFFED AVOCADO. oh yeah, i very nearly died and went to vegan heaven. it was SO delicious and served with a side salad. for dessert (because of course i had some) i had the mocha “cheesecake” al a mode with caramel sauce. which my very cute waiter did not charge me for! (the caramel sauce, i mean) pretty sure he thought the girl sitting at table ten was easy on the eyes 🙂

anywho, before cafe gratitude i took a trip to the back doctor. and never got to see her. first they were running late. and didn’t call me. then the doctor had an emergency to tend to. so after an hour of sitting in the waiting room, i bounced, kind of frustrated and annoyed. but something about cafe gratitude grounds me again. it makes me realize life is life and i should not get worked up over things out of my control. so yes, i wasted gas, energy and time going into the city (and missed the opportunity to SKYDIVE with some coworkers of mine) but i did get to spend some time with my dad. and i did get to eat an amazing dinner. and i did have an amazing ride home.

i took the backroads to avoid the moooondo backup on the freeway. no one has to tell me twice northern california is the most beautiful place and that i am lucky as hell to be breathing, to be alive, to be healthy. to be present.

i’m happy to be here and i’m happy to be happy. finally. i am choosing happiness and it feels good. this weekend looks like a great one, too. shortly after posting this i am heading out again towards san francisco for the power to the peaceful music festival! there’s music, yoga, organic food…and it’s a free event! well, it’s a donation style event. i’m so excited! i’ve never been but i think today will be a calming sort of day. don’t worry, i wouldn’t forget my camera like i usually do 😉

and tomorrow i plan on going to the farmer’s market in my home town. i need delicious fruits and veggies because my fridge is looking a little sad at the moment.

but for now, i am just grateful for what i have: a healthy state of mind and enough. of everything.

what are you grateful for? any exciting weekend plans!?!



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 🙂



what a whirlwind week!

but first: seriously, when did it suddenly become july?

okay, back to it.

i am finally home! i am glad to be back but i for sure miss candace. it was awesome to spend those four days with her in san diego! it flew by. for reaaaals. what did we do? i got to go to the beach! i got to bake a vegan birthday cake! i kicked it around tourist-y old town! i hung out with friends! i went to dave and busters (ridiculous)! a lot of fun times were had.

the best thing though? i got to talk to candace about my food and body issues. one night i felt the urge to share it with her and proceeded to unloaded all of my secrets. however, to my surprise, candace replied she already knew. although i thought i kept my negative, destructive habits tucked safely in the shadows, turns out they were right out in the open the entire time. candace knows how much i struggle but simply has no idea what to say or how to help me. despite all that, she did what any amazing, fantastic, best friend would do: she offered me her ear whenever i felt the need to talk.

it felt incredibly reliving to share all of these thoughts face to face with another person. i’ve know i can depend on candace for emotional support. i’m really not sure why i thought this issue would be any different.

candace’s birthday was on tuesday. for birthday’s, i usually always bake them their favorite cake from scratch. candace wanted a rainbow cake with cream cheese frosting. and, continuing to better her resume for best-friend-of-the-year-award, she requested it be vegan so everyone could eat it (her girlfriend cannot eat dairy too!).

and so, the vegan rainbow cake with vegan cream cheese icing was born! unfortunately, i am unable to post a picture of the finished product because of it’s…questionable content? 😉 i will tell you lots of colored frosting was made and piped (i love piping. it’s basically the most fun thing to do. ever.). happy birthday candace was on the top. with a 21.

how’d it taste? pretty good! the frosting was killer. the cake? it was good, but i think it could of been better. everyone else liked it though.

speaking of cake, remember that italian rum cake i mentioned? well here’s that.

this was apparently very good. i would not know because it was so decidedly un-vegan 😉 it was fun to make, too! everything was made from scratch, including the pastry creams, whipped cream and cake.

before i slip onto the couch to watch my newest documentary (who killed the electric car?), i will share one more thing: i did not work out for three days in a row. yup. three whole days passed without one formal, structured work out. how did i feel? slightly anxious. did i watch what i ate more carefully? kind of. did i try to relaxed and forget my “rules”? yes. i ate french fries thankyouverymuch. AND i ate late. trying not to focus on my body consciousness. revelation: the less i think about it, the happier i am. phfttt. took me long enough, right?

regardless, outside of a little walking and one 20 minute yoga flow (my friend is so ridiculously into yoga so of cooourse we had a little session :)) i did not work out. i will not lie: i felt weird not moving. it was nice, but it’s become such a part of my life it just felt weird not to be active for at least an hour a day. this morning i woke up and did a quick 20 minute yogadownload(.com!) morning flow and then went on a quick 4-mile run, the last mile of which was done by sprinting for 30 seconds, walking for 60 seconds, repeat. it felt good to move and i felt stronger in my sprints. i could hold the intensity for a longer period of time and i felt faster. improvements? i’m thinkin’ so!

have a good one kidlettes. i promise a more focused post tomorrow.



hello loves!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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.


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.



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.


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.


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!



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.