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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: dinner

lesson #1
spontaneous day-time adventures might be one of the best parts about life. especially when they include a trip to the montery bay aquarium! and jellies!


“fish are friends, not food!”

i found nemo! and dori. can you :)?

another lesson? i still love penguins. i do not like penguins in boxed in environments 😦

lesson #2
i really love being vegan. especially when i can make things like this.
“meat”loaf! more like lentil, cannelli bean, onion and spices loaf!
pre-baked

post-baked

on-plate

with these guys…

roasted famer’s market leeks! a new-to-me food. and oh-so-good.

by the way…the non-vegan boy? loved every bite of this stuff 🙂

oh, the recipe? well okay!

what you need
1/3 cup dry lentils (yields one cup cooked)
1/2 cannelli beans (mine were canned)
1/3 cup millet flour (i’m sure any flour would work well)
1/2 onion (i used yellow, i doubt it matters what kind you use!)
1 T tomato paste
1 t cumin
1 t red chili powder

what you need to do
preheat oven to 350
cook lentil in about 2.5 cups water with 2 bay leaves until all liquid is absorbed or until ready
chop onion, drain beans, and add everything to food processor or blender
add cooked lentils to food processor/blender
pulse a few times so the texture remains chunky
put into greased pan
bake for about 50 minutes to an hour, or until ready

plate and serve!

lesson #3
who knew it was possible to fill a costco sized almond butter jar up with juice? not this girl!

in this bad boy is two carrots, two swiss chard leaves, celery, cucumber and looove. so delicious, so nutritious!

lesson #4
giving up sugar was the best decision i ever made for my body and mind. especially when i can eat things like this instead!

avocado-banana-chocolate pudding topped with the non dairy queen’s coconut cream and a square of unsweetened baker’s chocolate!
(pudding: half an avocado, half a nanner, a T of dark chocolate poweder…coconut cream: 3 T raw coconut flour mixed with 6 T unsweetened almond milk and sweetener of your choice. SO. ADDICTED.)

sweetened with a new-to-me sweetener!

lesson #5
going without warmed lemon water in the morning definitely does not help my digestive track. the two days i forwent drinking it, i didn’t “go”. lemon juice helps jump-start your digestive fire by waking up the digestive juices! necessary for people like me who have bathroom issues from time to time!

lesson #6
the most important lesson of all: life is sweet when you let it be.

have you learned any lessons recently?

namaste

zoe

(points for anyone who can correctly identify the movie the title of this post came from!)

but seriously. lately, my kitchen has been pumpin’ out some seriously bitchin’ foods.

take, for example, coconut butter!

quite possibly the easiest thing in the world to make. take unsweetened, flaked coconut (i used bob’s red mill brand but who really cares) and process in a food processor until smooth and creamy and oh-so-delicious.

other oh-so-deliciously bitchin’ food?

the yo soy mucho bowl, a la cafe gratitude! k and i cooked it up a few nights ago. in that (cafe gratitude bowl!) is wild black rice (our modification!), shredded romaine, delicious guacamole, and salsa fresca. all homemade, all awesome. the cashew nacho cheese comes straight from ashley of edible perspective. girl knows what she’s doing! this was a huge hit (four friends joined us for dinner!)

another huge hit? (am i annoying you yet?)

spicy swiss chard wrap! served alongside some mary’s herb crackers & hummus (duh)

the innards

wild black rice (a new favorite) and sprouted quinoa mixed with left-over cashew cheese and hot sauce, diced red onion, julianned orange bell pepper, and some avocado slices. peeeeerfection at its finest.

more perfection? (yes, i am entertaining myself) today’s lunch!

roasted carrots with roasted cauliflower and a delicious cheesy (vegan cheese, of course) quesadilla on the side…

you bet i smothered that in hot sauce. although i love daiya, i don’t think it quite likes my stomach…

but know what did like my stomach?

this pretty pink smoothie! made with frozen mango chunks and frozen organic raspberries. and water. topped with unsweetened coconut flakes and puffins! i found puffins on sale (like serious sale) and totally swooped up two boxes. score!

i’m having so much fun in my kitchen again. some foods still make me anxious (hellooo pizza, pasta, and bread!) BUT guess what? i eat rice. yeah, i said it — I EAT RICE! not white because i hate it (always have, nothing new) but brown, black, wild — throw it at me.

i’m proud of myself. i’m striving to create a happy, healthy, balanced environment in which to live in. and it feels amazing. some days it’s difficult to beat down the negative voice in my head and i compensate by over eating or under eating. and, sometimes, the grumble in my stomach ignites a feeling of happiness. on days i feel anxious skipping a meal or working out past the point of exhaustion sound like solid ways to deal. sigh. i’m working on it. it’s an incredibly odd thought, really, to want so desperately to be healthy in mind and body yet want, at the same, time to cling desperately to unhealthy habits.

this year i need to focus on one thing and one thing only: to let my negativity go. i know the happy, whole person i can be without this awful negativity constantly in the back of my mind. i need to find the happiness in myself. i’ll get there, with a lot of patience and determination and self compassion, that much i know.

i wish you a wonderful start to your week as this lovely weekend draws to a close. well, not for me actually! somehow i managed to get saturday, sunday, AND monday off! tomorrow i will enjoy a climbing session with k and my friend joe. i’m excited. are you interested in rock climbing? ever wanted to do it? ever done it?! regardless, keep your eyes out for a post about climbing soon!

have a magnificent monday!

namaste

zoe

twas the night before christmas and all through the house, nothing was stirring…but zoe was in the kitchen. and no one was surprised.

really though, how else did you think i’d be spending my christmas eve evening? unfortunately i am not with my family at the moment. i volunteered to work on christmas (why starbucks needs to be open on christmas kind of astounds me. we’re open every day of the year. seriously.) because i live so close to home and i go home a lot and i know a lot of other people don’t so. plus we get paid time and a half i’m down ;). plus i’m off at 11:30 so i can still go home. tomorrow will be the first christmas i am not waking up at home. what a concept! i feel so…adult. gah, where is timing going!?!

so, to pass the family-less time, i cooked up some foods in the kitchen. some red food, specifically…

ever tried red quinoa? neither had i! so i bought some at trader joe’s the other day (on a trip originally planned for christmas shopping. FAIL.). and cooked some up for dinner tonight! wondering what the difference between red and white quinoa is? i was, too. the answer? nothing, really. red is a bit crunchier and chewier. but equally as delicious.

along with this red quinoa, i threw together this pretty red vinaigrette…

RED RASPBERRY VINAIGRETTE
(inspired by cafe gratitude!)

what you need
1/2 C raspberries (mine were frozen. i warmed for 30 seconds in the micro.)
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
2 t basil
1 t oregano
1 t garlic (or to taste!)
2 t lemon juice
1 t agave
crank salt and pepper

what you need to do
through everything into a food processor or blender and let blend for a few minutes. allow it to sit for about ten minutes for the flavors to meld.

i drizzled a bit of this over that red quinoa that i mixed with roasted brussel sprouts!

paired this with a simple salad of romanie, sauteed zuchini, and garlic dressed with hummus. because hummus can be anything you want it to be.

oh, and sprinkled with chia seeds. because i’m trying to eat more seeds. i forget about them. i have hemp, chia, and flax seeds just kind of chillin’ in my pantry. i cannot ignore them any longer. because they taste good and are oh-so-good for you.

because i’m clearly on a red kick, i also did this…

okay so what we’re not allowed to paint our nails at work? it’s christmas. and i wanted to. shhhh, just don’t tell my boss 😉
so i’ve got some cookie recipes coming your way soon, too. gonna tweek them a bit but the test run went well. i cooked three types of cookies for my co-workers for christmas last night. one came out stellar, another really well, and the third was good but not what i hoped them to be. so be prepared. cause it’s about to get tasty up in heeeerrreee.

and, before i go, one more thought. today i woke up and weighed myself again. you’d think i’d of learned by now, right? i thought that too. i tried all day not to think about it. in fact, i managed to shrug it off half way through the way. i reminded myself i was still beautiful, healthy, strong and capable. i reminded myself nothing important about me changed.

but i ate one of my cookies. okay, so i ate four. or five. point is, i ate them. immediately after consuming them i was run over by the guilt truck. okay, it was more like i was plowed into by the guilt truck. i learned long ago to have this association with guilt and food. it was the culture i was brought up in, unfortunately. sometimes i am incredibly good at turning off that guilt, because there’s absolutely no need for it. food should never be regretted, only enjoyed. the guilt used to send me into mini-panic attacks which forced me to work out until i felt like passing out or throwing up. but i don’t do that anymore. i am slowly learning to disassociate with guilt entirely and just simply be.

today, however, i failed. miserably. in the last hour of work i found myself drifting around unhappily, awash in the negative thoughts occupying my mind. i silently cursed at myself for indulging, especially because i told myself i wasn’t going to. i was going to be a good little girl and skip the desserts. phft. lame.

so i came home depressed. i laced up my running shoes partly out of guilt today. i admit it. but once i started my run, i realized it was just what i needed. i zoned out completely and just flew. seriously, my pace was amazing today. i surprised myself.

which lead me to this realization: yes, i weigh more than i have in a while. and yes, part of it is winter weight gain. but the majority of it is new muscle. and healthy weight i needed to put back on in order for my body to function properly. the number on the scale and the appearance i grew attached to was impossible for me to keep. it was not a happy place for my body to be.

know what else i’ve noticed? i am stronger than i used to be. my endurance is up on my runs, in my flows (i can just about hold full boat pose!), on the wall. i am healthy. and so what if i ate a few cookies? i’m still healthy. and a few cookies isn’t going to change that. or kill me.

it doesn’t matter what my weight is, especially if i feel as strong as i do. it’s about how i feel inside, not how i look on the outside. i just need to remember that when i start to feel blue. how do i feel now? fine, thanks. i talked myself out of my sour mood with positive thoughts and dancing. and cooking.

what pulls you out of a funk? have any realizations lately?

anywho, i’ve got presents to wrap and more things to cook and a yoga flow to go through before bed. have a wonderful christmas, loves! and if you don’t celebrate, enjoy all the empty streets. it’s pretty awesome, actually 🙂 or come visit me at work!

namaste

zoe

beatles song of the day: ob-la-di, ob-la-da. (the white album)
why? because life goes on. even if you ate that cookie. ❤

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 :)!
)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

next up something interesting…

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

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

about half way through eating this i got an idea…

peaches!

best. idea. ever. yum!

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

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

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

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

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

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

beet froyo!

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

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

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

for lunch i ate a really delicious pizza…again…

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

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

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

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

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

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

have a fabulous evening, kidlettes.

namaste.

zoe.

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

what did i do?

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

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

cloooose uuuppp!

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

another great part of yesterday? BUFFALO!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

namaste!

zoe!

honestly, i like honesty. and, honestly, i feel like i only blog half of the person i am. i feel like i succumbed to the invisible rules of the healthy blog world. i understand withholding certain particulars but i feel like i withhold a big part of my life. i feel like i am not being honest with you.

i wondered why i felt so hesitant to include more details about my life. i asked myself: what am i afraid of? well, of judgement, i thought. and possibly scaring people off.

the lovely miss jackie, mastermind behind peaces of earth, recently wrote about owning your life. which, basically, translates to finding confidence in all your life choices and not fearing the judgement of others. and, in most cases, i really do not fear the judgement of others. but for some reason, a part of me simply cannot get over the judgement of the blog world, particularly the healthy blog world. sometimes i feel as if bloggers compete (best recipes, most comments, best work out accomplishments yadda yadda yadda). but this could just be an overly sensitive reaction. regardless, i really don’t feel like following the same blogging “rules” i have been following.

i want to share. yet, am reluctant because i am fearing some sort of mass exclusion. so for right now, i’m going to be honest with you all and honestly own some stuff.

like a) i like to swear. a lot. and i hate using replacement swear words like darnit.
and b) sometimes, i eat when i’m bored. oh well.
and c) sometimes, all i want for dinner is ice cream and almond butter.
and d) sometimes, all i have for dinner is ice cream and almond butter.
and e) sometimes, i over eat. oops.
and f) sometimes — sorry vegan police — i get a massive craving for an omelette.
and g) sometimes i don’t wash my hair for four days.
and h) the two things i can’t tell you (but really want to!). hah, sorry.

and much like jackie, i am not sorry. why apologize for being you, anyway :)? so i’m curious now. what are you not sorry for? anything you’re hesitant to share with the blogworld?

you know what i’m not hesitant to share with you? my dinner!
(sorry for the lack of pictures…i even added some flare with my avocado design but then couldn’t find my camera :()

asian inspired lentils
(serves one)

what you need
1/4 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup water
one T olive oil
1 small zucchini (chopped)
quarter of a red onion (chopped. (mine was HUGEEE))

what you need to do
bring the half cup of water to a boil. add lentil, bring back to a boil, turn down low and simmer, covered, for 20 (or so) minutes.

in the mean time, heat one T of olive oil in a small pan. add chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. then add chopped zucchini and saute for another 6-8 minutes.

once the lentils are done, add the sauteed veggies to the lentil pot. dump sauce in. combine everything and plate. i added a quarter of avocado to the top of mine. it turned out really well and hit everything i was craving, slightly sweet, rich tasting (from the almond butter!), spicy and tangy. a friend of mine would call this “vegan slop” aka throwwhateveryouwantintoapotandseewhathappens.

oh yes, and you need the sauce.

spicy almond butter sauce
2-3 t almond butter (i’m sure any nut butter would work here, really)
1.5 t bragg’s amino acids
1.5 t asian chili sauce
one T water
a squeeze of lemon

stir the first four ingredients together and microwave for about 30 seconds. stir to make sure consistency is fluid. add the squeeze of lemon and stir again. dump over food!

well, i’m off! i am pretty tired from work (6:45-1:30 pmmmm) and feel like lounging around. i think i’m going to read a little. then finish watching skins! it’s a british teen drama i randomly found of netflix and it’s really good! well acted and the kids are all cuties 🙂

have a good one, kidlettes.

namaste

zoe

today after my long seven hour shift at work (we’re a drive-thru starbucks. the drive-thru never quit today. yours truly was stationed in drive-thru. all day. but hey! time flew by :)) i went on a good four mile walk. i love walking. and my body loves walking. so i’m going to include more walking in my life. along the way, i stopped at a friends for a bit to catch up before she went off to work. then my introspective wanderings commenced once again.

it took a little over an hour to return home and when i did, i felt about ready to chew my arm off. i satiated myself with the other half of this morning’s banana and ran off to the store to buy what i was craving: KALE. hi, my name is zoe and i have a kale addiction, a hummus addiction, a carrot addiction, and a almond butter addiction.

during the lovely hour or so walk, i utilized my time and thought. firstly, about dinner and what to make. i thought of the giant costco-size bottle of POM sitting in my fridge. just sitting. waiting to be used. and then a concoction was born:

spicy pomegranate sauce!

what you need
3/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice (i used POM!)
1 t agave
1 t spicy chili sauce
juice from one lemon
lemon zest
1/4 t xanthan gum

combine all ingredients except the xanthan gum into a sauce pan. bring to a boil. allow to thicken a bit. whisk a bit. after about five or so minutes, add the xanthan gum. whisk vigorously. allow to thicken on stove top for about five or so more minutes. remove from heat, cover and allow to cool for another five or so minuets. sauce be done!

this created a small amount of sauce because i was testing it out. i most definitely plan on making it again and in a bigger batch! it was perfectly sweet and tangy from the juice and spicy from the chili sauce (which i added on impulse!). super delicious! i feel a tofu recipe coming on…

i poured the sauce over millet, which i cooked and ate for the very first time tonight! i used emily’s cooking instructions. to the bowl of millet, i added some raw red peppers and raw red onions (next time i might omit the onions, their flavor was a bit over powering).

served alongside some massage kale salad. taste-buds be happyyyy.

after sorting out dinner, i revisited a talk a friend and i had the other day. during our little catch-up slash heart to heart, i shared with her my struggles with disordered eating and how they’ve especially dominated my summer. although i feel like i am now headed down the true path to a healthy lifestyle, it still felt good to talk to someone, especially a close friend. half way through the talk, i grew intensely emotional. i cried as i explained to her how twisted my obsession with food turned. i found myself saying aloud how i felt ashamed and embarrassed of my own hunger, particularly if eating in front of others who may not eat as much as i did. i told her how i always found myself guilt ridden for taking seconds. my friend balked and responded by saying something so eye opening: “well, zoe, you do need to eat to live. and you put nothing but healthy foods into your body. you have nothing to feel guilty for when eating good food. and even if you ate unhealthy food, you still have nothing to feel bad about.”

her statement only highlighted how irrational my thinking is. whole foods = a whole mind and body. i eat whole foods. i avoid processed foods. i am not feeding myself foods with little nutritional value. and even if i did, it still falls within the non-processed foods.it’s okay to have a sweet tooth. especially when i feed it with more healthful forms of dessert.

i also realized i need to take cues from my episodes of over-eating. if i eat one too many spoonfuls of almond butter, i believe i need to see it as a sign from my body to start consuming more healthy fats. i subconsciously avoid healthy fats. i love them and know their health benefits, but the word “fat” plays mean tricks on my brain. it signals me to avoid, avoid, avoid. which leads me to over consume rich or indulgent tasting foods. you know, i think i just need to start completely trusting my body. it is smarter than i give it credit for. and the more i listen, the healthier i seem to feel, anyway. step in the right direction, folks!

for the remainder of this week, i am going to try and include some form of healthy fat in each meal and see how my body reacts. i need to really start nailing down what works for my body and what does not. i know sugar does not jive at all with me. what’s next?

i brought my ipod along for the walk. i noticed how often i skipped a song. i tend to leave it on shuffle but only stop at songs i know. how routine. and boring. i have TONS of songs on my ipod i do not know or rarely, if ever, listen to. so i formed another new experiment. i learn songs best when they are on CD’s. i listen to them in my car. i am going to go through the albums on my ipod and listen to them! i skipped over abbey road and the across the universe soundtrack (done and done, of course) and am starting with the kings of leon aha shake heartbreak.

well kids, i get have work tomorrow at 6:45 in the morning. tackling another seven hour shift. i still have yet to get a slow shift so i ain’t sweatin it. i am sweating how work has thrown off my eating schedule (like today. the first time i ate food was at 1:40. and it was only carrots, broccoli, and hummus — my quick and easy purchase from target). most early mornings i go without breakfast because i cannot eat so early in the morning. it leads my stomach to eat itself, leads me to feeling starving and then not hungry at all. then i eat every in sight. i usually pack food (nothing — substantial anyway — in starbucks is vegan) but sometimes it’s not enough. blah. any ideas as to how to keep a healthy eating routine to avoid over consuming later?

i’m off to do some quick bed time yoga and shower. hope i can fall asleep easily tonight…it seems whenever i set an alarm sleep never comes.

namaste

zoe

good evening!

so i for sure did not lounge around like i planned to! my friend called me shortly after and convinced me to hang out. it did not take much convincing 🙂 fun.

following hanging out came dinner. and what a dinner it was! guess what i had?

PASTA!!!! a serving and a half of it (i think)! for the first time in a good four or five months. it was super tasty. i originally wanted to buy vegan mozzorella and bake it in a ramekin buuuut i did not want to drag myself to the store. so i just used a bunch of nutritional yeast. no complaining 🙂 i made a super quick, super simple pasta sauce. canned diced tomatoes. seasonings and spices were added. simmered for tenish minutes. done. plated and served with a size of roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts.

i managed to honor my cravings and my hunger today! i might have a little banana soft serve soon, too…

after all, i did run ten miles today 🙂 my legs, by the way, are tired. early night tonight? most likely.

anyway, the REAL point of this post regards my very recent decision to become vegan and the subsequent reactions i have received from family and close friends. now, my parents half expected it and just shrugged when i told them. let let me live my life in the way i want to live it (as long as i’m healthy and happy that is!). they just don’t see why, but they don’t care. my brother was like…um, okay? and i’m playing video games? my friend from birth kind of freaked out. she was like…oh, you have to be really careful. because you could get really sick. you’re not going to get a lot of things. you could get, really, really sick. to which i replied, well, i’m not going into this blindly. i’ve read a lot. i’ve studied up. i kind of know what i am doing. to which she said: remember when fiona (another friend) went vegan? yeah, she got anemic. and her mom cooked for her. she got really sick. i reassured her, again, that i knew what i was doing, that i am not fiona, and yes, it’s possible for certain bodies to not function properly on certain diets.

ugh.

i find myself frustrated (another friend gave me a good ten minute interrogation as to why i am now vegan) but at the same time, i understand where all these questions and concerns are coming from. i used to be the person asking those question and spouting those concerns. i did NOT understand veganism. i thought vegans ate a weird diet and an untasty one at that. oh boy, did i ever prove myself wrong! i love vegan food. i love how creative it is. i love how it tastes. i love how healthy (for the most part) it is. sure, it is definitely not for everyone, but it is for me.

but why do i suddenly find myself backed into a corner, gloves up, defending my position? do i question why my friends eat meat? no. i lived their perspective for nineteen years of my life. so i know why. and now i see my food in a different perspective. my tastes are evolving but are doing so solo — no one else i know is making this transition.

so, i get it. i get the weird stares and the raised eyebrows and the “what? why” ‘s. we live in a society where the majority of meals center on animal products. beef. chicken. fish. dairy. most of the population cannot process a meal sans meat. salads, sure, but every meal? it sounds like scary territory. and you know what? it was to me, too! but i cast off my assumptions and discovered how very, very wrong i was. vegans did eat! and a LOT!

so do i find it disrespectful when friends tease me? sometimes. i find it more annoying than anything. a few friends are curious and ask legitimate questions but i am so sick of the “YOU’RE GOING TO DIE” reactions and the other forms of discouraging speeches i hear.

i guess when you go vegan, you learn how to develop a thick skin.

so while i understand people’s concerns and people’s preconceived notions, i do not understand the judgement. how can my choice possibly affect your life? if it makes me happy and if it makes me feel healthy then please, refrain from the negative onslaught of questions.

bleh. fellow vegans, how do you deal? do you take the rude route or do you just smile, nod, and walk away? do you feel like we should defend our way of life? do you feel like we should have to defend our habits period?

namaste

zoe

is a warm guuuuun!

good early, early morning kidlettes. it’s 12:51 am here on the california coast. seriously guys, i’m quite the night owl. i love staying up late…despite waking up at oh, nine every morning. it’s okay, i don’t mind 🙂

anywho, hope everyone’s father’s day went well! mine was splendid! i spent the night at home on saturday so i could wake up and be with my family already — and more importantly, my dad!

honestly, i’m not sure where i’d be without my dad. he’s been such a solid in my life. he’s been supportive in everything i’ve ever done and taught me so, so much. i’m for sure a daddy’s girl 🙂 fooor sure. check out what i found…

this was the first day of first grade! i used to have BLONDE hair when i was a kid. like, SUUUUPER blonde. and i also had a birthmark in between my eyebrows! never got teased though!

and this gem:

oooh yeah, totes rockin’ the mid-90’s velvet dress and baaangs! dig iiiit.

anyway, point is: HAPPY FATHER’S DAD! my family and i went out for brunch (where, unfortunately, there was basically no vegan options soo i had a decidedly UNvegan day…i ordered an omlette. oops! i just was so not in the mood for granola and fruit…) and then my dad and i saw toy story 3. GUYS. GO SEE THIS! it was seriously amazing. i laughed the entire time. super cute. can you believe the first toy story came out when i was seven? this series has spanned basically my entire life…7-20! crazy!

after returning home my dad and i cooked up some dinner. my parents had steak and i had grilled portobello, tofu, a roasted red pepper, and roasted broccoli. happy tummyyyyy. and we had ice cream sundaes. i got dairy-free local vanilla. i ate too much. BUT I’M OKAY WITH IT. i am.

i came home and, as is my (BAD) habit, examined myself in my full length mirror. my “girl” (aka: my stomach pooch) was there but i just shrugged and said: meh, i’m still bangin’ 😉

short story: i developed early. liiiike…in the third grade. it was embarrassing, as i was the only one of my friends to have boobs. then came the hips. and the bigger boobs. aaaand then bigger boobs. my genetics have gifted me with quite the womanly body. i’ve always been borderline ashamed of my body and have hid it in every way possible. when you develop early and no one else does, it’s AWKWARD. it made me feel weird and uncomfortable. and revealing clothing never appealed to me because i never wanted to reveal my curves. i felt like it was all anyone noticed and i didn’t want to be noticed. and because of my early development and subsequent embarrassment over it, i’ve never put myself out there. instead i stuck to the sidelines and watched my friends shine and flirt with the boys i only wished i could flirt with so easily. but today, i liked the curves i saw. i’m getting better at this whole confidence thing and this whole being comfortable in my own skin thing. i’m getting better at seeing that hey, people actually DO find me attractive. the only person who finds me “ugly” is me. it’s high time i start seeing what other people have seen all along. fake it till you make it, right? and i know some days i will eat too much and get a little down but i’m truly realizing that it’s OKAY.

i’m realizing i need to eat more.
i’m realizing i need to eat more often.
i’m realizing i need to just eat what i want.
i’m realizing i need to stop worry about calories.
i’m realizing i need to be just be happy.

most of all, i realized the key to happiness. the other day, jackie wrote a post about “the four agreements.” i highly recommend reading her post! it was very insightful. anyway, the four agreements is something my roommate and i talk about frequently. after reading jackie’s post, it got me thinking: happiness can only be achieved by you. it cannot be reached through the external. when internal peace is achieved, happiness — real happiness — will be found. at least, that’s what i’m starting to think! i’m going to start focusing on the important things, which will NOT involve my appearance. there are so many more important things to spend my energy on. i feel like the moment i stop obsessing about my body, it will change.

i think the reason my stomach disappeared last summer was because i was, truly, happy. i never thought about it. so it just…vanished. the power of thought astounds me. think negatively and your body and mind will be negative. think positively and, well, you get the idea 😉

so i’m going to start to strive for that internal happiness. i’m going to start to search for that lightness. i’m going to start to forget myself and just be. i’m serious this time.

what do you do to stay happy when negativity crowds in?

anyway, as it’s 1:23 (123!!!! anyone else love when the time is in numerical order? no? i’m the only dork? ;)) and i guess i should go to sleep (though i’m not tired in the slightest!). night kidlettes!

here’s to happy dreams!

namaste

zoe