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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: mental health

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

yesterday started out interestingly.

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

and all i wanted to do was cry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

namaste

zoe

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

i feel…

well, i feel a lot of of things right now. i feel uncomfortable. i feel disappointed. i feel sad. yet…i’m still clining to a few shreds of happiness. i’m still holding my head up. you see, the binge monster has reared its ugly head. again. its decided to venture out of its deep, dark cave and swallow me whole. at least for the moment.

curious as to what constitutes a binge eating diagnosis? i was, too. and i found this:

A. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:

eating, in a discrete period of time (for example, within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances
a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (for example, a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)

B. The binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:

eating much more rapidly than normal
eating until feeling uncomfortably full
eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating
feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterwards

C. Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.

D. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for three months.

E. The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behavior (for example, purging) and does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

well. let’s just say i have A-E on lock down. not proud of that accomplishment.

the past few days have been rough.

right now i am floating in a weird, complex paradox i cannot seem to wiggle my way out of. in fact, i’m pretty sure i’ve been floating in it for a while. i love, love, love being healthy. i love eating fresh, whole foods. i love moving my body. i love the peace i get when all things in my life are balanced. on these days i feel sociable, light, giddy. i can laugh easily, forget the definition of irritated, and simply be.

nutrition is a passion of mine, one which has often times lured me in the direction of becoming a nutritionist. but there is just one issue: i am not healthy.

yes, i am, as candace likes to tell me, “one of the most healthy people, if not the healthiest person” in our group of friends. sure, i avoid meat, dairy, gluten, and sugar because none make me feel my best. and yes, i work out 5-6 times a week and do so for pleasure. and all that alcohol my fellow 21 year olds chug on a nightly basis? i forgo it, too, because, honestly, i really hate being drunk.

but being “healthy” includes a lot of other aspects as well. simply avoiding the food groups which set the stage for an “obese america” does not mean i am healthy. yes, i eat well. very well. however, sometimes, i find i am unable to put the spoon down or put the jar away. sometimes, i eat to the point of incredible discomfort. and i do it all for emotional reasons. i am an emotional eater. i am striving to live a healthful life yet find myself unable to because of, well, myself. recently, it’s been a constant battle to acknowledge my hunger cues and respect my body.

i have always been my worst enemy and harshest critic. lately i’ve allowed too much (astonishingly petty, stupid, ridiculous, pathetic, neurotic, obsessive) negativity to influence my decisions. which leads me to fall into a cycle i’m sure a lot of you can relate to. and, i for one, am so tired of this cycle. mentally and physically.

the cycle goes something like this: i eat well for a period of time before succumbing to the awful monster that is bingeing. after periods of bingeing, i vow to be “good” again, to treat myself well. usually this leads me to restrict more than i should which just leads me right back to the feet of the very monster i am trying to avoid.

perhaps i am trying too hard. perhaps i am orthorexic as well. perhaps all this focus on health has just lead me to be the exact opposite. this bingeing habit (and its severity) has really developed over the past year, when all my issues with food and my body started. it’s embarrassing. it’s depressing. eating in secret because you are afraid of the (imagined) judgement of friends and family is not healthy. having a bad day and justifying it with unnecessary amounts of food is not healthy.

so i am left feeling like a walking contradiction. i strive for health, i love health, yet, at the same time, treat myself the exact opposite. and it all stems from lack of self-love. with self-love comes self-acceptance, two things i am practicing. some days it’s easy. but other days, i convince myself i am suddenly not worth it — for anyone, myself included. so i eat to compensate then eat more to compensate for over eating in the first place. it’s awful.

in this world of healthy bloggers and healthy living blogs it’s hard to find someone who struggles, or at least admits to struggling. and i want to know if anyone out there struggles with this, too. if you do, what do you do to cope? it’s truly difficult to deal with this solo. i write (obviously). and i do yoga. but it’s hard to talk to people about this. i am so utterly embarrassed. it’s hard to tell people who think you are such a healthy person that you eat a pint of ice cream or three servings of almond butter when no one is looking. it’s embarrassing to admit this here. but some how, the vague anonymity the world wide web offers provides me a bit of comfort.

regardless, i am still pretty upset. and confused. and would greatly appreciate any advice or any suggestions as to who to talk to, where to go, how to start this recovery process. i don’t even know. but i do know it’s driving me nuts.

i hope you are all having a wonderful tuesday. i’m going to try to make it a good one despite the wonderful sunshine i don’t get to play in today because of work…from 1:30 to 9:45. i’m going to try to make it a good one because i deserve to be happy and whole. and so do you.

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

today the sun is shining and i am smiling. and i am thinking.

yesterday, katie, of chocolate covered katie, penned a post entitled chase away the blues. in it, she offers tips on beating seasonal depression. winter and lack of sun (and, therefore, lack of vitamin d, the “happy vitamin”) often leave people feeling less motivated and more introverted than they might be in the summer time.

the post sparked a really interesting conversation, one i am urging you to read. most people loved and agreed with katie’s suggestions. some people, however, did not believe in the power of exercise and eating well.

which got me thinking. i am most depressed when i eat poorly and skip my work outs. depriving myself of my healthy habits leads me to cave to the negative chatter of my mind and treat myself poorly. i self medicate with food and drown myself in thoughts of unworthiness. on the flip side, however, when i treat myself well by feeding myself nourishing foods and sweating at least twenty minutes of day, i feel so much more grounded and sane.

i’ve never been diagnosed with depression but i’ve certainly felt it. i do not think, in any way, that i suffer from depression but i do suffer from intense blues (as i’m sure most of you do, too) from time to time. over the summer all i felt was intensely blue. it was awful and i wasn’t treating myself right. i binged, i restricted, i compulsively exercised to the point of pain. i drove the sanity right out of my world and felt completely lost.

fast forward to now. things are not perfect, nor do i ever anticipate they will be because nothing ever is. but candace said something to me the other night that sparked another thought. while discussing with her the thoughts which, as of late, have sent me into moods i cannot shake, i told her that i was five pounds away from where i started my weight loss journey. she told me this: “so what?”

so what? it caught me off guard. so what? so i was going to be ‘fat’ again. so i am uncomfortable. so i am critical, obsessive, and miserable.

so what, she told me, then added “think of it this way: you’ve gone through all of this and you’ve ended up where you started, okay. but you’ve learned so much along the way. you know what foods you like to eat now and what foods your body likes. you know you love yoga now. think of all you’ve learned.”

think of all i’ve learned. think of all i’ve learned.

the words kind of floated in my head for a moment, mulling about the forefront of my mind. think of all i’ve learned. after a few days of contemplation, the positives replaced the negatives, and all these lessons learned became clear.

i’ve learned exercise is something to be done in order to feel good, not something to be used as punishment. i’ve learned my mat is my happy place and yoga brings me more peace then running everwill. i’ve learned a plant-based diet best suits my body and mind. i’ve learned smaller portions help keep me sustained through out the day. i’ve learned to evaluate the reason why i feel the need to binge. i’ve learned, above anything else, that self-love is the key to true happiness.

i’ve been up and i’ve been down and back again but i know there are ways to have more up days as opposed to down days. in order to keep the ratio of up days to down days uneven, i know i need to focus on a few things:

i cannot fight the shape of my body. it is curvy, not straight like my mind wants it to be. i need to accept the person i am on the outside.

i need to accept that maybe, just maybe, my body likes being at the weight it is at right now.

furthermore, i need to accept that weight is not important. if your insides shine, your outsides shine no matter what you look like.

no one cares whether you gain weight or lose weight. they like you, the person, not your appearance.

eating well and exercising bring only happiness into my life. when i slack on either of these things, i feel shitty. health brings happiness.

and for today? well, today’s a good day. maybe it’s because i spent the night with my boy or maybe it’s because i have the day off work. or maybe it’s because i went on a short run this morning and finished it off with some yoga. or maybe it’s the sun, or the fact that cooking dinner tonight is far too exciting. or maybe, just maybe, i’m one step closer to loving this person i am, inside and out.

regardless, i am counting my blessings today and thanking the universe for granting me the power to feel solid in my person today, to be happy and whole. because i always am. i just have a hard time remembering that.

namaste

zoe

today, when i woke up, i felt this ridiculously strong need to be outside. i was all laced up and ready to embark on a lovely walk/run but then opened the door only to greet my arch nemisis: RAIN. well, guess who didn’t let the dreaded rain stop her? me 🙂

i threw out an extra layer (aka my rain coat!) and started my walk! i know one thing about myself: i hate rain. but not today! i actually smiled just about the entire time. i loved the feeling of cold air in my lungs. plus since it was raining no one else was out. there were very few cars on the road and everything was so pretty and still and quiet. seeing the positive in the grey today set the tone for my day.

after my walk (which ended with a one minute sprint because i forgot it was street cleaning and a 45 dollar ticket didn’t sound too appealing) i did a 30 minute flow with chaz, one of my most favorite online yoga teachers (yogamazing podcast! seriously, check them out!) then i showered up and headed off to work for five hours.

nothing. exciting.

the exciting part? dinner, of course! i had one thing in mind: gena’s polenta stacks! i love polenta. it’s delicious. my dad makes it from time to time and it reminds me of my childhood. however, my dad also makes it with cream and cheese, two things i don’t eat. gena’s version turned out delicious and brought me back. ah, childhood nostalgia. talk about comfort food. i changed it up a little bit because i didn’t have yams on hand so i skipped that part (next time, definitely adding yams!) and instead of roasted red peppers i added raw red peppers to the beans because, again, that’s all i had on hand. but check it out…looks tasty, no?

(in the background is the rest of the sauteed greens!)

dessert was a melted square of unsweetened baker’s chocolate. i add a bit of agave (maybe about a half a teaspoon). it’s so delicious! i love the richness of it. honestly, life without sugar so far has been relatively easy. except for this little temptation…

peanut butter cookies! (not vegan, though easily made so!)

i made these for a friend and co-worker who switched shifts with me when she really did not want to (i don’t blame her — i switched her an open (4:30 AM) for a close!) and this is how i thank people!

what you need
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup peanut flour (trader joes!)
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 cup sugar (i used vegan cane sugar. it’s all i have on hand right now!)
1 egg (sub a flax or chia egg to make vegan!)
1/2 cup butter (i used earth balance! one stick :))
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

what you need to do
1. preheat oven to 375
2. combine all dry ingredients except sugar
3. combine all wet ingredients
4. add dry to wet
5. grease a baking sheet or just lay down foil
6. roll dough into little balls and create hatch marks with a fork. so you’ll be pressing the ball flat!
7. bake for 12-15 minutes
8. remove from oven and immediately place hershey’s kiss in the middle
9. allow to cool on a wire rack

i was told these were really delicious!

i’ve also realized i’ve forgot to mention i’ve been on a bit of a mini-detox. i’ve removed sugar, wheat, dairy, (most) soy, and salt from my life for a second. i’ve also started taking probiotics and a vitamin D(3) supplement. here’s my spread of detox and health related items:

i’m hoping the probiotics will help with my digestion (so far, so good!) and i’m hoping the digestive enzymes will help with my bloating as well as just aid in digestion! the detox tea is pretty tasty, too!

i know i can be positive if i try. it also helps to just simply talk. i’ve learned that, for me, it works best to share with someone close the issues i am working through. i cannot do this alone (personally, i don’t think anyone can go through any struggle alone. the emotional weight of emotional situations is so heavy). tonight i spent a good twenty minutes talking to candace about the things swirling through my head. i cried a lot but it felt good to get things off my chest. i journal but journaling only goes so far. the pages never talk back, after all. sometime sharing is the best thing a person can do to inch closer to feeling whole again.

i’m not giving up on myself. yes, i am uncomfortable and yes, i am fighting the own voice in my head, but i refuse to listen to it. truth: i am five pounds away from where i started my weight loss journey. another truth: i don’t look like i did when i started this journey. the final, and most important truth: i know whatever weight i am at will not affect my happiness. maybe it will temporarily but these issues are emotional, not physical. i was miserable at 115 and i am miserable now. in order to be truly happy, i need to heal on the inside. only then will my outsides be able to fully shine.

baby steps every day.

well it’s about that time to start winding down my night. it’s almost friday and i happen to have saturday AND sunday off this weekend. one more almost five hour shift and i’m free. oh, and k comes home tomorrow after a week long absence! he’s been rock climbing down in southern california at joshua tree (am i jealous? why yes, yes i am.) and has done so sans celluar phone. so we’ve had no contact. it’s healthy, i know, but i miss the damn boy!

here’s to a happy, healthy tomorrow.

namaste

zoe

(oh, p.s: i cut and colored my hair! added some blonde in. i used to be SUPER blonde when i was little. i missed it 🙂

i’m pretty stoked about it :))

…it’s so hard to stay positive?

today was not filled with sunshine and rainbows. instead, it matched the color of the murky sky obscuring the sun i miss so desperately. the negative voice in my head today told me i wasn’t worth it.

and no, i had no desire to feel this way today.

i know positivity is a choice. we possess the power to squash negativity and choose to be and feel positive but i am finding it ridiculously hard to stay committed to making that decisiom. in fact, i’m finding it hard to even find the ability to do so. no matter what i seem to do, i cannot make myself feel positive, happy, and brimming with life.

today was my day off. reason enough already for it to be a good day, right? i even got my hair cut and colored today. but the funk still persisted. so i took myself out to lunch to cafe gratitude for a little soul soothing. the yummy macrobiotic bowl and slice of i am devoted coconut cream pie did nothing to alleviate me from my own self-induced misery.

and i know where all this emotion and negativity is coming from. it’s all stemming from feeling insecure in my person and appearance right now. i feel it controlling my days. i hate getting dressed in the morning. i am staying home instead of seeing friends because i am embarrassed of how i look. i am wearing baggy clothes to hid my self from view. it’s sad and pathetic, and it’s true.

though, i can say there is one positive aspect i have noticed here: i am not taking it out on myself physically. i am not bingeing. i am not compulsively exercising. i am not restricting. i am treating myself well by eating enough and eating well. i am moving when i want to and how i want to.

and despite this awful mood i found it in me to treat myself to a wholesome dinner.

a little of this…

(massaged spinach salad with chopped yellow bell peppers, chopped zuchinni, and a homemade dressing [2 t sesame oil, 1.5 t maple syrup, 1.5 t mellow white miso, juice from half a lemon, a sprinkle of red chili flakes, and a splash of water] topped with sesame seeds)

and a little of that…

(a quarter of baked purple cabbage drizzled with balsamic oil (added pre-baking) and one cut up parsnip)

dessert was three dates and a melter square of 100% unsweetened Baker’s chocolate. (i really enjoy the taste of 100% dark chocolate. it’s so rich and that’s the taste i really love, not necessarily the sugar.)

today is ending on a decent note. i am feeling a bit better after an afternoon of movie watching with candace and now a game of LIFE (remember that one?) with candace and another friends.

additionally i just read such an inspiring and raw post by one of my most favorite food bloggers, ricki of diet, dessert, and dogs. it’s in regards to ricki’s diet and lifestyle but also in regards to bingeing, something we apparently have in common. it’s beautiful and honest and really put things into perspective for me. i really recommend reading though it. it’s worth the length, especially if you’re struggling with bingeing.

anyway, i’m being called to get my ass to the game board. hope you have a wonderful tuesday evening.

here’s to a better tomorrow.

how do you stay positive during negative times?

namaste

zoe

sometimes, i wish i cared less about food.

sometimes, i wish it wasn’t what i day dream about. i wish it didn’t matter to me. i wish grocery stores and farmers markets and restaurants didn’t excite me like they do. i wish it wasn’t my passion, my obsession, my best and simultaneously my worst friend.

i hate food almost as much as i love it.

awful thoughts have been circulating through my mind recently. i’ve spent days attempting to put together a post to articulate what i am currently struggling with. the negative voice in my mind still has a voice, and that upsets me. particularly because its strength is only growing.

after meals i find myself calculating. adding up rough estimates of calories. what, in total, i consumed for the day. how i need to move to get all the food off of me. the other day, in the tail-end of a teary breakdown, candace reassured me “everyone has things they feel the need to control.” to which i responded: “yeah, i just wish mine happened to be more proactive for my life.”

i am feeling the need to control intensely. i am not happy with the bit of winter weight settling on my frame. (i know. vain and superficial. i’m trying here, guys.) i know it is normal and i know it should not bother me, but it does. and i am not happy.

and i am not happy about my relaxed attitude towards sweets. i’ve been consuming too much sugar (in the form of dark chocolate, carob chips, frozen yogurt, soy drinks from work) and it’s showing up on my face, in my mood. i forget just how sensitive i am to it. i’ve been breaking out more than i have in months and i feel puffy and not too great. i have no problem with eating sweet foods (hello cafe gratitude! and hello home-made, sugar free, raw carrot cake sitting in my fridge!) but i do have a problem with sugar, specifically white sugar.

it’s also a mental problem. i recognize that. if i tell myself i cannot have something, i overeat it when i do. it’s not a good habit or a good mind set. i know i am perpetuating the disconnect between my mind and body.

my mom and i shared a wonderfully honest and raw discussion the other day. i am so happy to have someone in my family to talk to about my struggles now. and my mom understands better than most because she experienced the same issues when she was my age (though to a lesser degree. and, i would argue, still does to an extent today.). anyway, we agreed it would be best for me to keep seeing a counselor. unfortunately i cannot see the woman i was seeing at school because with graduation comes the loss of using on-campus resources.

so yes, i am feeling unsettled in these winter months. i am attempting to settle myself once more. to do so i need to listen to my body. sometimes i eat foods i do not necessarily want (like sugar) just because it’s there. but lately, all my cravings have been for fresh and raw foods. i need to start honoring my body’s cravings. i also need to start honoring it through exercise. i’ve allowed winter to make me a bit lazy, i’m afraid. i miss my mat! and my running shoes. and rocks.

so today i am going on a trail run/tree climbing adventure with k. we ran across the golden gate bridge the other day (super fogless on an otherwise incredibly foggy, grey day!) and it was so much fun! it’s really fun having a running partner. and one who likes to climb trees! i’m trying to make my movements fun and interesting, if you couldn’t tell.

anyway, thanks for listening, loves. i’m trying over here, i really, truly am. some days are just harder than others, you know? have a good friday.

namaste

zoe

winter brings with it more than seasonal change. after talking to several friends and reading several different blog posts on the subject, winter truly proves to be a trying time for the majority of human beings. i am not sure about you, but during the winter months lethargy becomes my best friend. something about the grey skies kills my motivation and squashes my positivity. work outs seem less appealing and heavy, rich foods appear to be all my body craves. winter feels like the season in which we all turn inward. cuddling up under covers and filling ourselves with warm, nourishing, heavy foods are all part of this seasonal . well, at least for me.

i am in a funk today. and i am in one for a few separate reasons. one regards school, which ends next week. yes, in one week i will graduate from college. the excitement i expected comes in short bursts. instead i find myself anxious and unsettled. why? well, i just realized i kind of regret my major. a few weeks ago a teacher of mine asked what we as english students were reading in class. no one, save for one boy, offered an answer. i realized how little literary books (outside of shakespeare) i read during the last 3.5 years. suddenly i find myself feeling as if i wasted my education. i find myself wishing i stuck it out in liberal studies, the major i enrolled in freshman year. i find myself feeling less intellectually stimulated than when i started college. isn’t it supposed to be the opposite? i feel like i just wasted my time, money, and energy on a major i lost touch with a long time ago.

in addition i fear i might not pass a class of mine. to be perfectly honest you guys, i kind of shut down this semester. my motivation to do well in school dwindled down to near non-existence. during counseling i realized just how rigid i am. though i believe grades do not reflect a person’s intelligence, i always strove for ‘A’s’ and felt uncomfortable when i did not get them. so i relaxed some this semester. okay, so i relaxed a lot this semester. and now it is coming back to bite me in the ass. i have a massive research paper due on wednesday and, as embarrassed as i am to admit this, i did not read a single thing for that class this semester. i have never, ever, ever done this in my life. now i understand why! i am scrambling to pull something together and have injected unnecessary stress into my life.

on top of all this, this afternoon i had a mini-break down. lately my weight and food habits have weighed heavily on me. i have spent a lot of time in reflection. in practicing following a less rigid existence, i have allowed myself to eat foods i “banned” long ago. frozen yogurt? all right. gummy candies? yes please. soy hot chocolates from work? bring it.

the other day i weighed myself. just out of curiosity. what a dumb decision is all i have to say. a number is a number and nothing more. all my clothes still fit. and, to be perfectly honest, i don’t feel unhealthy. in fact, i feel incredibly healthy and strong. probably for the first time in months. the freak out i expected never really came. but the number on the scale scared the shit out of me. i felt down for a few hours then managed to climb out of the impending darkness. however, one thought is sticking with me: i am so uncomfortable with how comfortable i feel. i feel healthy, i look healthy, yet i cannot stand the weight i am at and cannot stand how relaxed i’ve become.

and i know why: i am terrified of becoming again the person i was freshman year of college. during my first year away from home i gained a good 10-15 pounds, due mainly to poor eating, late night eating, and emotional eating. i left that year miserable, in body and mind. so i lost weight. and more weight. and then more until it reached an unhealthy point. but during that time, i damaged my mind body connection. i transformed into a controlling, self-punishing person. and now that i am relaxing my control (by slowly introducing the foods my body craves back into my diet), i am having a really hard time coping.

i know i eat healthfully. i know i do not eat the way i did freshman year. i know i will not turn into the unhealthy person i used to be because health is so important to me now. but i am emotionally stressed from thinking about health all the time. i want to give up control but at the same time, i am so frightened of what will happen if i do.

candace said something really thought-provoking earlier. she told me this: “zoe, everyone has something they feel the need to control in their lives.” i know. i just wish mine happened to be something proactive.

i am sorry to be so mopey and pensive again over here. but you know me…honesty always. truthfully part of me knows this is due in part to my period which is around the corner. so i know these feelings will eventually pass. i just wish i had some sunshine to help the process along.

how do you react to the winter? anyone else experience the winter blues?

well, i just finished a wonderful yoga flow in an attempt to regain my center. i feel a bit better, though not as great as i wished to feel. i’m heading out to dinner with my family and some family friends later. hopefully i can rediscover my happiness amidst family. we’ll see! imma try!

namaste

zoe

happy veterans day! did you enjoy your day off if you had one? i sure did. as you all know, this past week and a half has been a bit of a struggle. i’ve wrestled pretty intensely with my inner negativity and sometimes it won the battle. it kept me from going out last night, which i partly regret. it allowed me to doubt my self worth, which we all know is never a good thing. but i am starting to settle a bit today. partly because of this:

i got a little free therapy in the form of beautiful scenery today. and rocks. lots and lots of rocks. you see, i went climbing outside for my second time today! although i adore climbing inside, climbing outside is a completely different experience. the paths are not set and you get to be a bit creative. and i love being creative. the weather gods smiled down on our little group of four today, too. though it’s the middle of november, the sky remained rain cloud free. we only experienced blue skies and a full, warm sun.

true story though: i carried the mental back and forth battle with me all day today. i found it difficult to just breathe through my frustration at some points. but in the end i ended up victorious. if i felt anxiety coming on, i just remembered one thing:

let it be.

i also remembered to find my center.


i think you should start getting used to these photos…

we ended the day at a wonderful indian restaurant. i got a ridiculously delicious okra dish. spicy. warm. okra-ey. so good. currently i am waiting on a friend for a little night time yoga sesh. gotta stretch out these tight muscles! just know i am on the path to feeling better (i’m going to say aunt flo visiting today has a lot to do with this…) and thank you for all your kind words. i really appreciate them. have a wonderful weekend, loves!

namaste

zoe

(p.s: can someone tell me why my horoscope for the day told me the following: “A wave of powerful physical energy may wash over you today. You may feel sporty and full of life and want to take part in games and group exercise as you move through your day. Because your vitality is likely soaring, you may want to vent your energy by engaging in high-energy activities.” um. creepily accurate!!!!!)