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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: south africa

hello kidlettes! how are all of you today? well, i hope!

whew. the past week has been…rough. emotionally. physically. spiritually. i’m out of whack, as you know, but i woke up this morning feeling more centered and more relaxed. THANK THE UNIVERSE because if i had to experience another day like yesterday, i might just implode.

what happened yesterday? well i broke down on my yoga mat and sobbed for a good twenty minutes. yes, sobbed. like a baby. i just lost it. it felt good to lose it, though. you know when you’re just so emotionally taxed and you cry and suddenly everything just feels…peaceful again? well that was yesterday. only the peace did not stay for so long. but i felt infinitely better after my pathetic water works explosion. AND the yoga felt amazing too.

i felt all weepy for the remainder of the day though and definitely teared up at stupid things. honestly? since starting this blog i’ve realized about once a month my mood swings and emotions go absolutely bat-shit insane for about a week. and i think the reason i feel so great today is because it has been exactly one week since i started to slip down my negative road. what can i credit this to? upon reflection, i noticed this trend started in middle school. i think i just have really intense PMS. i don’t get cramps. i don’t suffer from fatigue. but my body likes to plague me with horrid bouts of uncontrollable mood swings, breakouts, and bloating. oh, the pleasures of womanhood.

do any of you ladies out there have similar symptoms? HOW THE EFF DO YOU DEAL!?!?!

anyway, besides feeling like an emotional crazy lady, yesterday went well. my dad and brother are out of town at the pebble beach golf tournament (i know. i don’t get it either. golf is so effing boring!) so i accompanied my mom to dinner and a movie! seriously, i know i’ve mentioned it before but whenever i am down, going home really grounds me. although, i was in a bad mood yesterday and my patience wasn’t too great…

but dinner! dinner was great! we could not think of a damn place to eat at and we only had an hour before the movie started. we hemmed and hawed and argued over vegan food until i finally suggested we just go to the whole foods hot bar and salad bar. an immediate deal was reached. my mom got a burrito (i think this is new? i’ve never seen the option before!) and i put together a deliiiicious mini salad and did something i haven’t done in oh, over a year: i got a sandwich. ON A SOURDOUGH ROLL! that’s a big step, guys. really, really big. my mom i think has recognized some of my food anxieties and reassured me by saying: “it’s okay, you’ll live!” sometimes parents just really know what to say. i found it really comforting and you know what? i did live. and the sandwich kicked ass. (basil pesto, roasted red pepper, grilled portobello mushrooms, onions and lettuce!)

we ate in the parking lot of the movie theater and declared it the best idea ever. we saw winter’s bone. it was GREAT. the cinematography was stunning and the acting was fantastic and the writing…le sigh, i love writing as you know (creative writing majoooor! what whaaat!) and this writing was so, so beautiful. i recommend it!

so that was yesterday. and when i FINALLY uploaded my pictures, i noticed just how many eats i’ve been concealing from you guys!

remember that awesome breakfast i alluded to the other day? well this was it:

two slices of sprouted sourdough which i used to make french toast!!!!! it’s been YEARS since i last ate french toast. i topped one side with peanut butter and the other with dark chocolate almond spread (i know i said i was taking a break from chocolate but for some reason, i am not counting this :)) and half a nanner. then i put them together. things got messy. AND DELICIOUS!

will i remake this? uh…YES. i drizzled a little honey on it, too. i know honey is not vegan but i have a full bottle and bought it before my decision and you know what, (good) honey is expensive. i’m not going to waste food, either.

yesterday for lunch i ate this plate of awesome:

tofu i sauteed with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a ridiculous amount of nutritional yeast. topped with 1/4 an avocado and daiya cheddar style cheese (if i could marry this, i might.). served with a side of nutritional yeast covered roasted brussel sprouts. yeah, so what? i really like nutritional yeast, okay ;)?

it was glorious. the other day, i made this after a good long run:

tofu scramble with 1/4th an avocado, salsa and daiya “cheese” all wrapped up in a toasted ezekiel wrap. toasting them, i think, is key. i like them as is but when they sit in the broiler for a second, the outside crisps up but the inside stays chewing and ahh it ends up being a really good combination of textures.

the other day i created this:

open faced tempeh almond butter & jam sandwich. the “bread” was april’s nearly no carb sandwich bread. they’re a little more like pancakes but incredibly tasty!!!

today i ate this after my 6.5 mile run:

i dreamed it up while running: half a cantaloupe stuffed with quinoa which i mixed with some greek yogurt, cinnamon and coconut flakes. YUM YUM YUM. protein and melon which i am craving like crazy lately (really though. i bought a mini watermelon, a honey dew, and two Tuscan cantaloupes yesterday. no, i am no obsessed. why do you ask? ;)) and i’m pretty sure i’m not going to miss greek yogurt. i was never a big fan of yogurt to begin with but eh. it’ll keep my wallet fatter, i think! this stuff can be pricey…

i also ate this with lunch too:

simply delicious 🙂

ooh and guess what FINALLY came in the mail yesterday!?! my newest kitchen gadget!

i used it this morning to weigh out my oatmeal. turns out i’ve been over doing the 1/3 cup 😉 i think i will definitely have to be careful how i use this, though. it might turn into a negative obsession. i will not weigh out all my foods. but i am curious to see just how many grams of x y and z vegetable i am consuming. or nut butters (because i think i FOR SURE eat more then a serving size at a time. oops!) i think i will primarily use this for baking! baking is really an exact science. so knowing the exact amount of baking powder and flour and chocolate (one day!) will be beneficial.

this is a ridiculously long post. i’m sorry! just a few more random thoughts…

did anyone catch the US vs slovenia game? if you didn’t, i seriously encourage you to watch it!!!!!!! unless you’re crazy and don’t like football (soccerrrr!). but we were robbed of a goal and should of won. seriously, i was screaming at my computer screen. i’m sure my neighbors thought i was nuts. and because of the call the ref might be barred from reffing any further world cup games. SERVES HIM RIGHT. it was an AWFUL call. everyone admitted it, too. did not matter what country you were sporting, a shitty call is always a shitty call.

also one more thought concerning my run this morning…i really pushed it today. i started out faster than normal and kept the pace as best i could for the duration of the run. i clocked in at 51:36. i ran my 10k in 57:15. i’ve shaved off a LOT of time!!!!!! i’m getting faster! i am thrilled 🙂 just another reminder that i can do anything. and you know what? so can you!

and that’s all for now. i’m going to bikram later with some friends and am pretty stoked about it. i think today it will be especially centering and calming and restorative. until then i will be reading! two books i requested from the library came in yesterday along for the rid by sarah dessen (i’ve read all of her books. they’re so fluffy but i love them! i read 60 pages last night!) and michael pollan’s the omnivores dilemma. yay!

i might post later about one of the topics i’ve been meaning to talk about! stay tuned 🙂



a year ago my life changed.

a year ago i stepped on a plane and never looked back.

a year ago i leapt out of my comfort zone.

a year ago i met the most amazing, thoughtful, intelligent people i’ve ever met.

a year ago i left my heart under a different hemisphere.

a year ago i went to south africa.

i cannot believe it has been a year. at this time last year i was running around packing last minute items and spending as much time with candace as possible. at this time last year i was all nerves, nerves, nerves and excitement. i cannot believe how much has changed between then and now. i am a completely different person, yet utterly the same.

my heart hurts today, you guys. i miss south africa like i might miss a lover. i think about it every day. literally.

i want to see it all again. i want to feel on top of the world again.

i want to be unabashedly free again.

i just want to be again.

but i can’t. so i’ll run today instead. i’ll go to yoga tonight instead. i’ll invade a friend’s house to watch all the world cups today instead where, if only for a sliver of time, i can watch snapshots of the country who ran off with my heart a year ago.

hello loves!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

le siiigh. moving on…

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

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

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


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

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

dinner was some farmer’s market finds!

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

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

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

i also looked forward to this little number:

gina’s breakfast cookie!

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

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

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