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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: random

but first. remember this?

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

but anyway…

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

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

and how cute were these two?

boycrushes. for sure πŸ™‚

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

question number three! my thoughts on drugs and alcohol.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

have a beautiful monday!

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

namaste

zoe

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thanks for the comments on my last post. it’s not nice to see other people struggling, but it’s nice to know we’re not alone, right? if anyone ever wants to talk just let me know! i am always here with open ears and an open heart. i know how hard it can be to do this alone. (i also find that when i share, i feel much better and much stronger in my conviction towards a happier, healthier life!)

anyway, onto today. a new day. a sunshiny day. a day filled with tissues galore and unending cups of warm, soul soothing tea. i can’t taste food (bummer) and my appetite barely exists (sorry body). today was supposed to be filled with friends and outside climbing but the cold bug bit me yesterday (thanks, k! okay. so maybe kissing someone who is sick was a bad idea) so any form of strenuous exercise is out of the question. which is a bummer because it’s kind of all i feel like doing…go figure.

and it’s so funny, too…my mom knows me too well. she called earlier to make sure i wouldn’t work out. sometimes it’s irritating to know people know me better than i know myself but i know it’s all done out of love. my mom knows i struggle and she’s reminding me to be healthy only out of love. so i appreciate it. because i know she’s right.

regardless, i did do twenty minutes of some stretchy, calm yoga for the flu and cold season. it clearly out my nose for a few minutes! i swear, i might go through an entire roll of toilet paper today…

anyway, all this stuffed up business has allowed me to kind of relax all day. i slept poorly last night so resting is key to recovery. so i recovered with a movie. anyone seen it?

it’s been on my netflix instant queue for some time now and the other day elise over at hungry hungry hippie watched it and have a pretty strong reaction to it. so i decided to check it out!

what did i think? well. wow. wow is really all i can say. the documentary chronicles the whaling business in a town in japan. it was horrifying and sadistic and utterly upsetting. it brought up a lot of emotions in me and helped me feel more secure in my personal decisions.

i’m talking about food here. i might get a little political.

when i first became vegetarian, i admit it was primarily for health reasons. i didn’t care or care to think about the animal aspect of it. kill a dog? kill a cat? sure, that would upset me. but i never thought about fish or cows or chickens or pigs. however the more my diet changed, the more my perspective changed. animals have the ability to feel pain. i believe animals are so much smarter than we think. when i would drive by the open fields of cows along the side of the free-way (hello, northern california!) i would find myself smiling. suddenly, these animals i never thought twice about made me feel.

watching the dolphins get slaughtered in the cove frightened me. but it also lead me to think this: americans, obviously, find this practice obscene. killing dolphins? a huge no-no. but killing mass amounts of cows and chickens and pigs, all (for the most part) slaughtered in inhumane environments? a huge yes? the contradiction becomes apparent.

why do we deem some animals “better” or “more worthy” than others? why do we not find the mass extermination of cows as heinous as the slaughter of thousands of dolphins?

this movie reaffirmed for me my decision to not eat animals. i think there are ways of eating animals without impacting the environment and our own health (hello hormones and diseases and unregulated slaughter houses) but i think the majority of americans don’t think twice about it. i am fortunate to live on the coast of california, a pretty progressive state in terms of eating locally and organically. (i am not trying to sound snobby or arrogant here. i am just stating something i have observed). i find the more i educate myself on these types of topics, the more passionate i feel towards animals and their rights. and towards a healthier way of life for everyone.

what do you think? are you a meat eater (NO judgement over here. these are just my personal beliefs and opinions. i believe in choice and i do not believe in forcing your way of life down other people’s throats)? are you not a meat eater? do you care either way? i’m curious!

regardless, i think you should most definitely check out this movie! it’s well made and thought provoking. two things i look for and love in documentaries. if something can make you think, it’s gotta be good, right?

anyway, i’m going to go attempt some form of dinner. hope you all have a wonderful wednesday!

fingers crossed for a healthier tomorrow!

namaste

zoe

a few days ago, a friend of mine shared a link to a website showcasing a book his cousin helped write. the book, eat, taste, heal, is an ayruvedic cookbook. never heard of ayruvedic?

Ayurveda is India’s traditional, natural system of medicine that has been practiced for more than 5,000 years. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that literally translated means “science of life” or “practices of longevity.” It emphasizes prevention of disease, rejuvenation of our body systems, and extension of life span. Ayurveda views each and every person as unique, with a unique mind-body constitution and a unique set of life circumstances, all of which must be considered in determining either natural healing approaches or recommendations for daily living. This view is in alignment with the modern science which views individuals as unique in the universe with a unique DNA. According to Ayurveda, because we each have a unique constitution, our health prescription must be unique to us. This means that in order to be healthy, you need to eat certain foods that are beneficial for your body type and stay away from others. Your exercise program must be personally suitable as well. Your constitution determines very much about you – your body, your personality, even how you relate to other people. Understanding it lets you know what you need in order to be healthy.

last semester candace returned home from san diego a wealth of information on the subject. she seemed really into it and encouraged me to check it out. so i did. and i’ve been interested ever since. i am a bit skeptical of the authenticity of the ayurvedic diet, however, when my friend shared the link with me, he also explained to me how his cousin used to be resigned to a wheelchair from debilitating joint issues but since adopting the ayurvedic lifestyle and diet, he now walks and no longer suffers from his joint issues. to which i say: amazing!

and also: but was his ayruvedic diet what lead to his increase in health?

because the ayruvedic lifestyle acknowledges each body’s peculiarities, participants are encouraged to eat according to their dosha. what is a dosha, you ask? great question! this is the part i find most fascinating.

In Ayurvedic philosophy, the five elements combine in pairs to form three dynamic forces or interactions called doshas. Dosha means “that which changes.” It is a word derived from the root dus, which is equivalent to the English prefix ‘dys’, such as in dysfunction, dystrophy, etc. In this sense, dosha can be regarded as a fault, mistake, error, or a transgression against the cosmic rhythm. The doshas are constantly moving in dynamic balance, one with the others. Doshas are required for the life to happen. In Ayurveda, dosha is also known as the governing principles as every living thing in nature is characterized by the dosha. The three active doshas are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

according to ayurveda, vata, pitta, and kapha all reside in each of us but one or two are the dominant forces. instead of detailing the specifics of each dosha here, i am going to encourage you to investigate for yourself.

i will share with you what i found. i took a little online test to loosely determine which dosha was most prominent in me (i know, i know. online test = ridiculous. just bear with me here and just try i know how to apply my critical thinking skills!). after answering a long list of questions, the test results showed my dominant doshas to be vata and kapha. and, after reading the vata and kapha descriptions, i completely agree with. allow me to summarize:

vata

Creativity, mental quickness
Highly imaginative
Quick to learn and grasp new knowledge, but also quick to forget
Sexually easily excitable but quickly satiated
Slenderness; lightest of the three body types
Talk and walk quickly
Tendency toward cold hands and feet, discomfort in cold climates
Excitable, lively, fun personality
Changeable moods
Irregular daily routine
Variable appetite and digestive efficiency
High energy in short bursts; tendency to tire easily and to overexert
Full of joy and enthusiasm when in balance
Respond to stress with fear, worry, and anxiety, especially when out of balance
Tendency to act on impulse
Often have racing, disjointed thoughts
Generally have dry skin and dry hair and don’t perspire much
Typical health problems include headaches, hypertension, dry coughs, sore throats, earaches, anxiety, irregular heart rhythms, muscle spasms, lower back pain, constipation, abdominal gas, diarrhea, nervous stomach, menstrual cramps, premature ejaculation and other sexual dys-functions, arthritis. Most neurological disorders are related to Vata imbalance.

…every single one of those aspects are so entirely true. especially the health problems. imagine my surprise when i read about kapha…

Easygoing, relaxed, slow-paced*
Affectionate and loving*
Forgiving, compassionate, nonjudgmental nature Stable and reliable; faithful*
Physically strong and with a sturdy, heavier build*
Have the most energy of all constitutions, but it is steady and enduring, not explosive
Slow moving and graceful
Slow speech, reflecting a deliberate thought process
Slower to learn, but never forgets; outstanding long-term memory*
Soft hair and skin; tendency to have large “soft” eyes and a low, soft voice
Tend toward being overweight; may also suffer from sluggish digestion*
Prone to heavy, oppressive depressions* (not heavy, but definitely not light)
More self-sufficient, need less outward stimulation than do the other types
A mild, gentle, and essentially undemanding approach to life*
Sexually Kaphas are the slowest to be aroused, but they also have the most endurance
Excellent health, strong resistance to disease*
Slow to anger; strive to maintain harmony and peace in their surroundings
Not easily upset and can be a point of stability for others
Tend to be possessive and hold on to things, people, money; good savers.*
Don’t like cold, damp weather*
Physical problems include colds and congestion, sinus headaches, respiratory problems including asthma and wheezing, hay fever, allergies, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

kapha came after vata and it totally makes sense as to why. i do not have all the aspects of kapha though i do have a good amount of them (i starred them just incase you were wondering :)). food choices and exercise recommendations are also suggested. the food choices between kapha and vata are conflicting (i.e: nuts vs. no nuts). and vata’s are encouraged to avoid raw foods. uhh…not happening πŸ™‚

it did say this about exercise though:

Regular exercise should be relaxed and moderate. Hatha yoga practice in a meditative mood is good, as are t’ai chi, walking, and swimming. Avoid strenuous, competitive, frantic activities. When possible, associate with people who are calmly purposeful. Meditate every day for deep relaxation.

to which i say: A HELL YES. it makes so much sense to me. competitive sports have always stressed me out (i tend to be overly-competitive) and yoga ignites this feeling of enlightenment within me, something i never felt while playing soccer or running. and in the past year, i have shifted away from people who live hectic, stressful lives. what did i see in return? a much more happy, lighter me. and i love meditation. i did some yesterday, in fact! (i’ve had to stay off my mat the past two days because i tweaked my back at work. it. blows.)

what do you think? do you think there’s any merit to the claims ayurvedic lifestyles support? or do you think it’s all a bunch of BS? did you look up your “dosha” type? what did you think?

it’s intriguing enough for me to at least test it out. i think i am going to do a little more research and try eating according to my doshas for a week. no use in not trying, right?

well, that’s it for the day. quite rambling, i do apologize. now if you’ll excuse me, i have an apartment to (deep) clean (CANDACE COMES HOME TOMORROW!!!!), a documentary to watch, and some meditating to do. have a good one!

namaste

zoe

look at that spanish — so good. too bad i totally sucked at spanish in high school! and continue to do so now. talk about awkward interactions at work…

anyway, happy mama’s day to all the mamas out there! i woke up in a SPECTACULAR mood today (thank you runner’s high!) and it has only diminished slightly for reasons COMPLETELY unknown to me. body, please make up your mind. THANKS! i spent the day with my lovely family and my wonderful mother. we went spent the day out in a little town called yountville. it’s right outside of napa. it wasn’t too beautiful of a day in terms of weather but the scenery was GORGEOUS. my grandma described the clouds as looking “like whipped cream.” miiight be stealing that line to put into a story sometime…

we ate at a restaurant called bouchon which, according to my parents, made them feel like they were back in paris in a little cafe. both had eaten there before and loved it. i’m not gonna lie — place is not vegetarian/vegan friendly. but what classic french place is? i ended up ordering a beet salad that i’m pretty sure was missing the green beans it promised. meh. i also ordered a side of sautΓ©ed spinach to supplement it. i originally asked for the braised kale but SURPRISE SURPRISE, they cooked it in chicken stock. to which i ask: wtf? seriously, whyyyy? but the spinach was tasty and although the salad was RIDICULOUSLY small, the beets tasted fantastic and i ended up full enough. the salad came with a shalot creme fraiche which i asked for on the side. i’ve never been a big ‘heavy on the salad dressing please’ kinda girl and actually didn’t end up using it at all. the flavors of the veggies were all i needed! i love beets. LOVE. like, if i could marry them, i probably would. anyone else like beets? anyone else get made fun of when they admit that? anyone else want to strangle the people who don’t understand BEET LOVE?!?!

we stopped in at bouchon’s bakery. i didn’t get anything. surprisingly, i haven’t had cravings for my usual loves, aka: chocolate and anything with sugar. i’m crediting this to my healthy eating for the past two weeks! i am proud to report THERE HAVE BEEN NO BINGE EATING OCCURANCES! you bet your butt i’m happy and pretty damn proud of myself. because i’ve kept my sugar intake to a minimum and stuck mainly with natural sugars (think fruits!) i haven’t been craving any. i feel better and happier, too. my taste buds respond differently to sugar now, also. i’ve found sugary things almost TOO sugary. which is crazy considering i luuuurve me some sweet things. i do indulge in carob chips though. yuum πŸ™‚

my dad got a bunch of goodies to bring home, though. lemon tart. cookie. brownie bite. french macaroons. my family has some unhealthy eating habits no lie, but i’ve been steering them in the healthy direction as of late! i’m proud to say their diet is changing and my influence is rubbing off. though the box of desserts says other wise πŸ˜‰

now i am home. finished sparknoting the tempest. goddd i HATE shakespeare. it’s so hard to understand. unlike the grapes of wrath which i’m finding i am LOVING the second time around. since reading it in high school i have been a staunch john steinbeck hater. HARDCORE hater. i dove into this again skeptically but found that i am absolutely falling in love with his style of writing and dang, it’s just so good. thank you teacher for making us read this! never thought i’d say that!

i took the day off of exercise, obviously. i am surprisingly not very sore. but my legs are a little tight so tomorrow my friend karen and i are going to HOT YOGA!! this is my first experience with hot yoga so i’ll let you know how i end up liking it! she loves it so i’m thiiiiinking i might too πŸ™‚

but for now i am leisurely sipping a glass of wine alongside candace and attempting to pick out a movie. can you tell we’re obsessed with netflix? when you never watch tv this is what happens. we’re ditching cable this month too so our tv will only be good for movies. we’re just testing it out πŸ˜‰

goodnight bloggies, sleep well!

namaste

zoe

so all through april it only rained like…three times. so much for april showers bring may flowers, right? anyway, it fake-rained all day yesterday. meaning it drizzled an annoying mist every once in a while. the day ended on sunshine, too! so why, please, someone explain this to me, and i staring out the window at a full on RAIN SHOWER!?!? UGH. i dunno about you guys but i really really reaaaaaally hate being outside in the rain (unless properly prepared. for something like, i dunno, PUDDLE JUMPING?!?!). i hate being unnecessarily wet and i am always super unmotivated to do anything but curl up on the couch and watch a movie. or make soup. i guess april decided to dump all the rain it’s been harboring before may actually hits. what a jerk.

le sigh. i’m particularly annoyed because i wanted to walk to school today like i usually do on wednesdays! but now i can’t. i’m trying to save gas and the earth over here! come oooon april get with it please! i’m also a little grumpy this morning because i slept like shiiiiiit. no lie. i fell asleep around 11:30 after reading for a bit and woke up at 7. FOR NO REASON. my health center appointment isn’t till 10 (am) today so wtf body, what gives!? lately i haven’t been sleeping past 7 or 8 though. so it’s either my body clock or i really am turning into my mother (who has issues sleeping past the hours of 4, 5, and 6. yeah, just kill me now.) anyone else have these issues? how do you deal with it? any tricks for sleeping longer!?

but deep down i really am a morning person. i like having my day. so i dragged my ass outta bed at 7 and prepared my eats for the day. before i started on lunch/snacks (i’m stuck at school usually from about 11-5:50 on mondays and wednesdays!) i prepared some oatmeal! but all raw-like and such. IN A JAR!

it wasn’t too spectacular. i’m going to blame it on the fact that i RAN OUT OF BANANAS YESTERDAY! i forgot to get more. nanners make my world go round. i love them dearly. but i ate it all nonetheless. it was still tasty. especially when i hit the almond butter πŸ˜‰

anyone else buy TJ’s (trader joes!!!!) almond butter? it’s the cheapest i’ve ever found (4.99!!!) and it’s pretty tasty! granted not as tasty as say…justin’s maple almond butter (le swoooooon!) but it definitely does the trick! i always buy unsalted things, too. i grew up without salt added to just about anything because my mom reacts to salt really badly and have thus developed an aversion to snack with added salt. it’s all i can taste and eck, it’s gnarly. plus, this kind i got was RAAAAW. double yum πŸ™‚

lunch for the day includes the following:
left over quinoa mixed with veggies (brussel sprouts, onions, mushrooms & spinach to be exact!)
a faaaaatty spinach salad with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a diced kiwi that’s been aching to be used in something (dressing is just olive oil & apple cider vinegar mixed together.)
and the rest of my luna nori crackers (SAD. DAY. these are addicting. i gotta go grocery shopping soon. totally not complaining πŸ˜‰ btw, here is lydia’s organics website! seriously check it out. TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!)
so nothing too special today but still tasty!

oh and dinner last night was some more spinach/zucchini salad with a cashew dressing i wish i could of spent more time on but i had class (at five…) but ENDED EARLY anyway so i was bummed because i did, after all, have time to spend on that dressing. i’m not gonna share the recipe because it was too hastily put together. but here’s what the salad looked like. wish i could tell you what it tasted like: AWESOME.

and that’s all for now ladies and gents.

…but WTF someone tell me why am i looking outside to partially cloudy skies and A LITTLE BIT OF SUN!?! seriously. april, please make up your damn mind! oh well, at least it’s not raining anymore. think imma chance a walk to school anyway πŸ™‚

have a good day everyone!

namaste

zoe

ahh earth day! all state parks in california are free entry from today till sunday! so GO GO GO! enjoy those state parks πŸ™‚ candace and i are definitely going to try to at some point this weekend (i’ve been using the word definitely WAY too much lately. i think it’s because i FINALLY learned how to spell it properly! haha. yeah, i’m not an english major or anything…) look up other freebees around you, too! our wal-greens is refilling ink cartridges for FREE today. YES PLEASE. i always run out of ink.

anyway i totally skipped class this morning…bad student day! it’s okay — i haven’t skipped it all semester and my friend told me i missed out on nothingggg. plus nothing was due πŸ™‚ so i slept in a little, woke up slow and yoga-ed for about an hour. looovely stretching to balanced out yesterdays five miler. but now it’s time for work 😦 boo. just five hours till freedom! no work this weekend πŸ™‚ HAPPY EARTH DAY! enjoy the sunshine! (that is, if it’s shining by you! if not, pretend it is and smile anyway :))

namaste!

zoe!

today is quite beautiful. currently listening to (what else?) the beatles and enjoying the sunshine streaming in through my blinds (which i rarely open. we have really horrible insulation and this windows so opening the blinds = COLD. heater = expensive. ah, the life of a college student!). it is definitely spring! thank the universe for that one. for the past couple of days i have been pretty gloomy. i attribute this to a couple of reasons: one) detoxing from all the coffee i drank last week (after two months of drinking NONE and then suddenly drinking one to two cups a day through my body for a loop), two) not being able to run, three) feeling “fat” as a result of my “less intense” workouts (i struggle with this daily. i don’t talk about it a lot because i don’t want to concentrate on it more than i have to), four) WORK. ugh., and five) crazy mood swings i attribute to overeating. my body FINALLY feels like its getting back on track. that week in portland rocked my socks off but did some damage to my body’s regularity. i think i learned something though: AVOID. COFFEE. i feel better when i don’t drink it.

anyway, there are also a couple of other more personal reasons i am feeling down and out as of late. but i am not going to detail them. just know today has been the best day so far this week. could it be the sunshine and the weekend ahead (which will be bombtastic!)? quite possibly. but mainly today rocked because: I RAN! and not only did i run, but i ran over five miles!!!! after TWO weeks of NOT RUNNING! it was probably the best run ever. i bought a book recently called slow burn by stu mittleman. i have never heard of him before but apparently he’s a really accomplished runner and trainer. i applied his methods of running and it FELT. AMAZING. i think i just fell in love with running all over again. he places emphasis on running comfortably, NOT on pushing yourself to the point of total exhaustion. and let me tell you — i got more out of this run then just about any other run i ever set out on in the past year. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. really, i cannot stress this enough. not one did i wish for the end of the run. i enjoyed everything, from the music, to the surroundings, to the movement. ahh i feel great. but my knee does not…i need to not run for another two weeks, i’m thinking 😦 i’m sad. i will continue to stretch and strengthen it but…i think it’s about time i consult a doctor. i REALLY don’t want to — i don’t trust western medicine. any suggestions as to medical alternatives?

anyway, i’ve gotta jet. work 😦 uggggh. at least it’s only a five hour shift. and it’s friday. HAPPY. THOUGHTS.

namaste!

zoe