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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: vegetables

lately i’ve been putting more of an effort into creating in the kitchen. i love it so much but i’m usually so hungry and impatient by the time i need to start cooking dinner i either opt for something quick (and therefore too boring to present to you all) or i go out (blaming this on k :)).

the other day, however, i buckled down and decided to make curry, a food i love with all my heart and soul and usually only eat when eating out.

k came over and we picked out a recipe and got to cooking! thank you my cozy kitchen for the basis and inspiration for our first attempt at curry!

we basically stuck to the recipe but subbed the potatoes for tofu and added peas and spinach for more veggie bulk! k is not a vegan/vegetarian but he is also not a very picky eater and loves all the vegan and vegetarian foods i’ve introduced to him thus far. sounds like a winner, no? 😉

anywho, it turned out just all right. i wouldn’t say it was as flavorful as curries we’ve tried in our favorite indian and thai restaurants. but it was good! and nicely spicy. spicy foods = absolutelymyfavorite. if anything can be made spicy, i usually will make it spicy 🙂

left oveeeerrrrsss! i know it looks kind of gross, but it’s pretty tasty! especially after chilling out in the fridge for a second. all the flavors meld together well 🙂

in the past if things did not turn out exactly as i wanted them to, i usually deemed it a failure and wound myself up in negative thoughts. however, now that i am practicing self-compassion and patience, i can call this a great first attempt at curry. nothing comes easily without practice. plus, i think i need to invest some money in good curry. any suggestions???

in addition to the curry, i finally got around my laziness (something i am seriously working on) and sprouted quinoa!!! talk about easiest sprouting experience ever. all i did was soak the quinoa in water over night, woke up, drained it, and allowed it to further drain in a collander all day covered with a clean cloth. did it sprout? hells yes! just look at those yummy sprouted seeds…

i’m trying to spend more time in the kitchen, yes, but i am trying to spend more time un-cooking in my kitchen. raw food fascinates me. i love every aspect of it, from the preparation to the taste, to the ingredients. it has opened my eyes to a completely new form of food preparation as well as a new form of living and eating. though i know i cannot go raw over night, i plan in 2011 to make a pretty big conversion over to the raw side. i do need to allow my stomach time to adjust though!

regardless, i am so excited and so inspired! a friend just let me borrow raw food, real world by matthew kenney and sarma melngailis. i sprouted the quinoa specifically for a recipe in there! i’ll let you know about it soon, promise 🙂 also, i just ordered another book by matthew kenney and one by ani phyo. so excited! this dehydrator has definitely motivated me! be on the look out for more recipes for sure!

last night i threw together this little tostada…

brown rice tortilla topped with half an avocado, chick peas mashed with hot sauce (nandos!), spinach, sprouted quinoa, and a quarter of a yellow bell pepper which, to me, looks like the sun! which made me super happy. the yellow and orange peppers were on sale (97 cents EACH!) so i stocked up. i forgot how sweet yellow bell peppers were!

this was my first experience with sprouted quinoa. i can tell you it does taste different — it tastes sprouted! crunchy and good. i ate this alongside some roasted brussel sprouts.

one thing i’ve noticed is this: i do not require as much food as i used to. i do not work out like i used to (meaning, i don’t run 6-7 miles EVERY DAY) so my body requires less food. it’s a nice realization and i’m recognizing when to stop eating and understanding the concept of being satisfied as opposed to stuffed. baby steps!

it’s a nice sunny day (though absolutely fucking freezing) and i just completed an hour of core yoga (a la yogadownload.com). i haven’t done this flow in a while and it was challenging. definitely broke a sweat and got my heart rate pumping! about twenty minutes in the negative voice in my head started saying things like “this is too hard, i can’t do this”. but i forced myself to recognize my own strength and you know what? it was challenging, yes, but i felt empowered and strong and refused to let my negative voice dominate my flow. i ended the hour feeling awake in my core as well as in my being.

i love yoga for this very reason. it makes me feel alive and capable and humble all at the same time. and guess what? i can officially hold crow! and i got into full boat pose today (though i was shaking the entire time). i am most definitely deepening my yoga abilities. although i weighed less in past months, i was never able to do these things. my strength and endurance has improved ten-fold despite my weight gain. again, just another reason supporting the fact that weight doesn’t determine your overall health.

oh, and i just remembered i never showed you my new yoga mat!

this is one substantial mat! it’s heavy and thiiiick. i kind of love it dearly 🙂

but i’ve got to go! work in an hour — and my first review! can you believe i’ve been working for starbucks for six months already? i can’t!

enjoy your monday!

namaste

zoe

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

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

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

spicy pomegranate sauce!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

namaste

zoe

today i woke up curious about one thing: running.

i know, i know. i kicked the habit about a month ago. but something in me today wanted to experiment, to see how my body might react. i promised myself i’d walk if i felt uncomfortable or miserable. so, after rolling out of bed, i chomped down a date, laced up my running shoes (which felt weird) and walked out the door. how’d it go?

a little something like this: brisk walk for five-ish minutes to warm up. then the running began. it definitely felt interesting to move through the running motions again. my pace was slow, though not heavy. it took a couple of minutes to steady my breath but once i did, it felt okay. nothing hurt i’m happy to report. no knee pain, no tight hamstrings. the last mile did not go so well. whatever fun i found in the beginning of the run faded and, in keeping with my promise, i walked the last half mile. in all i think i ran just over three miles (i took my old four mile loop) which to me felt perfect. i came home and stretched it out which felt even better.

will i run again? most likely not. it didn’t feel as fun as i wanted it to be but i’m glad i attempted it. and i’m glad i listened to my body. maybe i’m just not cut out to be a runner. and you know what? that’s okay. now yoga, well…yoga and i are deeply involved in a whirlwind love affair. i’m definitely cut out to do yoga and that makes me happy. i think one of the main reasons i ran is because so many bloggers i admire run. however, i’m learning my body is just that — my body. and i’m listening to it now.

and it totally wanted this perfectly purple smoothie when i got back from my run!

i know it’s a bit difficult to tell, but that smoothie is just about the same color as my bowl! into the blender went one (organic!) banana, the last of my frozen watermelon, some frozen berries, and some farmer’s market kale. topped with cinnamon and coconut. it was good. and filling. however, i’m now freezing. you’d like the middle of august in california might be hot, right? wrong. it is almost one (uh, where’s the day going?) and completely overcast. and cold. the clouds come and night and kind of refuse to leave sometimes. we have yet to have a warm summer night. it’s a complete bummer because warm summer nights are what i look forward to every year. oh well…

i also recently experimented with some mushrooms! i combined the following as a marinade/sauce:
3 t apple cider vinegar
2 t olive oil
1/2 t bragg’s liquid aminos
1 t cumin
1/4 t cayenne
splash of water
squeeze of a lemon
dash of pepper
dash of garlic powder (optional)

then, i roughly chopped some mushrooms and poured the marinade/sauce over them. i let them soak up the flavor for a good day (unintentional. i meant to eat it for dinner later that night but ended up at the giant’s game for jerry garcia tribute night!!!) and the results were really awesome! super spicy (just how i like it) and tasty. i turned it into a wrap. collard green wraps may be my new favorite thing. also, i’m finding i love raw foods. loooove. anyway, it looked a little something like this (hit it!…yeah, i’m a dork, so what? ;))

inside my collard green wrap went the mushrooms, some purple cabbage, and some farmer’s market tomato. how pretty are all those colors together!?! this is why vegetables excite me so much. they’re so pretty.

upclose!

i also tried okra for the first time yesterday! i bought some after wanting to for a while. i’ve heard of their slimy reputation so i baked them. and paired it with ketchup. um. can we say new obsession?

i saved some for another dish i want to make. i’ll share that with you tomorrow, i’m thinking! anyways, it FINALLY looks like it’s clearing up! and i want to get in my dose of sunshine for the day before work at 5. have a great wednesday, everyone!

namaste!

zoe!

happy monday to you all!

after opening at work the past three days, i finally have a day off! feels good. i just completed a thirty minute basic pilates mat work video. i think a certain pilates enthusiast might be proud of me 😉 and i am now slurping down a beautifully purple smoothie in a bowl. fruit for breakfast = a happy, happy me.

you know what else equals a happy, happy zoe? sunday morning farmer’s market in my home town! after work (5 am – 9…flew by!) i sped home to meet my aunt and my dad at my hometown’s farmer’s market. it’s a pretty big one and yesterday it was so crowded. but it still rocked. i ended up with a huge (2 dollar!) bushel of kale, some assorted summer squash, four bags of raw crackers, a bitchin tomato (i forget what kind :(), and some organic basil. i also proceeded to eat a million peach, plum, and nectarine samples which were followed by a spicy avocado wrap from the raw foods stand. oh, and i most definitely flirted with the guy running the squash stand. he may or may not have influenced my decision to purchase said squash 😉

something i noticed yesterday: i ate about 96% raw! fruit for breakfast. raw spicy avocado wrap for lunch. apple and carrot for a snack. massaged kale salad with raw yellow squash, homemade farmer’s market pesto, peas and raw crackers. and, since i was in town, a slice of raw layer cake from cafe gratitude. the only non-raw things: some almond butter and some hummus. i felt awesome all day. raw foods agree with my body very well!

okay, okay, on to what you’re really curious about…

my falafel recipe!

well, i shouldn’t say my recipe. i adapted it from isa chandra moskowitz’s recipe. she’s the author of this book i absolutely love:

but to get her recipe, i recommend getting her book. it’s awesome. here’s the way my vegan, gluten free falafels went down:
what you need
2 cup cooked chickpeas (i used up all the ones i soaked so i just used canned)
1/4 cup sprouted bread (i used alvarado)
2 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour (i use bob’s red mill!)
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 t baking powder
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 cup parsley
1/2 t salt
black pepper

what you need to do
process chickpeas and bread crumbs in a food processor until chopped and combined. add everything else and process until it’s just about smooth. refrigerate for at least half an hour. (i chilled mine for about an hour just cause i went out right after making them)

after it’s chilled, preheat the oven to 375. pop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. make sure they’re not super thick or it will take forever to cook (lesson learned). bake for about 15 minutes on each side. remove from oven. barely allow cooling time. smother in tahini dressing (unfortunately this is not my recipe, it’s isa’s. so i cannot give it out but i can tell you it’s delicious!) and promptly eat.


(not pictured: a big old side of broccoli i ate while waiting for these to cook. i was starving, what can i say ;))

the next day i wrapped them in a giant collard green for lunch!

bad picture but i assure you, twas tasty.

the other day i bought some baby bok choy too! i whipped some up for lunch:

simply steamed with garlic and olive oil and doused in lemon. served over brown rice.

and now for the words part of my post. remember when i asked if you all wanted to see a bit of my real writing, not just my ramblings and musings? well, here you go! this is the beginning of a story i wrote last semester for my short story fiction class. feel free to laugh, dislike it, or provide constructive criticism where you see fit. i have not edited it, either. it’s called “ghosts of pumpkins past” (yeah, i suck at naming things.) and, please note, i use some “strong language” in here.

The man sitting across from me looked nervous. He hunched forward on his elbows and wore his hat low on his forehead. The brim skimmed his eyebrows, the eyes beneath them at times passing quickly to the left and then to the right. The plastic name tag clipped to his shirt read ‘visitor’ in red, capital letters, his real name already disposed of by my memory. Fluorescent lights bleached the color from his skin, leaving it tinted yellowy-gray, like the sun’s rays through fog. I smiled. The question he asked a moment before with a tone of forced confidence hung heavily in the silence bridging a gap between us. I cleared my throat.
“So, you want the short answer, or the long answer?”
He chuckled, as if confused. “Well, ma’m, I think the long answer might benefit me more.”
I sighed, though kept smiling all the same. “All right. Long story it is.”
The man’s lips mimicked mine and twisted into a thin, apprehensive smile. I’m sure he fancied himself covert, but the greedy appetite for the story-of-the-century gleamed in his beady brown eyes. Anticipation caused him to blink frequently and every couple of seconds his tongue smoothed over his cracked lips.
“I rarely discuss incidences involving the woman who happened to birth me,” I finally said after a long pause, “but, considering the circumstances, I’ll break my one golden rule.”
Excitement dilated his pupils. No longer did his eyes bounce from side to side, oh no. Now they rested solely on mine. “I bet you think you are special,” I asked. The grin alighting his face told me he did. “Please,” I said, “don’t.
My relationship with my mother started in the back seat of a beat down chevy pick up in the middle of bum-fuck, Nebraska. This was the place my mother quenched her thirst for rebellion, with some boy’s pee-wee shoved between her legs. Whatever makes you feel loved, right? Anyway, one pee-wee accidentally forgot to pull out during the grand finale and alakazam!” I paused for dramatic effect, throwing up my free hand and leaning closer towards him. The man, who looked so thoroughly absorbed already — eyes unblinking, teeth nibbling the bits of loose skin around his nails — jumped. I relaxed back into my previous position and continued. “Nine months later, I popped out, bursting a blood vessel in my mother’s eye on the way. Sperm donor daddy ditched small town rural life — and, incidentally my mother and I — for the Big Apple, where NYU and life-long dreams beckoned.” I sighed, thinking for a moment what might have been. But then I remembered where I was and who I was talking to and why I was talking to him and forced myself to keep talking in the whimsical way every journalist wants their interviewee to sound. “Whatever dreams painted my mother’s future dissolved into baby diapers and stretch marks. I personally restrained her from grasping that shooting star out of nowhere, USA. Talk about resentment from the get-go, huh?”
The man was again caught off guard by my pause, by my rhetorical question. He straightened, suddenly uncomfortable and embarrassed, and laughed softly.
You and I both, buddy, I thought. “At eighteen and with a baby out of wedlock in the middle of the America’s bible belt, my mother was an immediate leper. Her zealous, bible thumping parents wept and cursed God for gifting them a child so clearly born from the flames of hell.” The man nodded now, and jotted something down on the little pad before him. I shook my head, unable to suppress the toothy grin. “Guess they’re really pushing that idea now, right?”

and that’s where i’m going to leave you for right now. if you like it let me know and i’ll keep posting bits of it! as for now, i’m off to enjoy the day. i have hot yoga planned for later! it’s a new studio and it’s hot vinyasa, not bikram! i haven’t been to bikram since june unfortunately so i am really looking forward to this! have a good one!

namaste.

zoe.

happy monday kidlettes! how was your weekend? hope it went well!

the rest of mine rocked, basically. last night i went to a giants game (my second of the summer!!) with one of my best friends from high school. the giants swept the dodgers!!!! meaning (for those baseball challenged people ;)) out of a three game series, we won all three games! and considering the rivalry…it’s pretty awesome.

notice the “beat LA” cup?

le sigh. such a gorgeous day! what you don’t see: the giant wall of fog rolling in to the right. “the coldest winter i ever spent was summer in san francisco”, after all 😉

following the game i dragged brought my friends (we met up with two other people) to cafe gratitude! where i had a slice of their strawberry shortcake. i might be an addict. i’m okay with that.

yesterday also involved some good eats!

massaged kale salad with some cucumbers! i might be in love with kale. lately i’ve been craving it like a mad woman. and green foods in general. i woke up today craving brussel sprouts and kale. um. who am i again? almost everything in my grocery cart yesterday was green! funny comment i’ve been meaning to share: the other day i read an article about the actress emily blunt and what she does to loose weight or tone up before a movie. she said she goes on a few day “green only” food regimine. and she said something like “it is surprisingly hard to eat only green foods”…to which i was like, what? what? weird, right? who knew eating greens was so difficult ;)!

but not everything in my cart was green. i finally splurged and picked up these:

i am not a big cracked girl because i don’t really find them to be a substantial snack ever. maybe three or four servings, sure. but not like…seven chips. i’d much rather eat a plate full of veggies anyway. so i bought these with a little bit of skepticism but i’ve heard such great things about them. let me tell you…i am so happy i purchased these! they’re a lot bigger than i thought and taste heavenly! especially dipped in some sabra chipotle hummus :)! do you like mary’s crackers? or are you another cracker fan?

anywho, what i really want to discuss with you today is healthy eating! it’s no secret healthy eating and nutrition are really big interests of mine. i am fascinated by food and its healing properties and its fueling properties. i am incredibly passionate about it and love to learn as much as i can about it. i love talking about it so much my mom has suggested to me several times i should become a nutritionist. which might be fun, but i have other ideas as to the path my future should take (but that’s a whole other post a comin’ soon!).

however, sometimes i think my passion gets misinterpreted. when i talk about health and nutrition, i am sharing information i find interesting . i want to share with everyone all these facts about health and nutrition i stumble upon but sometimes, when i watch the faces of the people i talk to, their expressions read a little like this: “who is this crazy person and why the hell is she telling me this?” i’ve mentioned this before but i’m going to say it again: food choices are very personal. and whenever i discuss my lifestyle choices or food facts, i think people find me “preachy” or “superior” which is so NOT my intention! i think there is a direction connection between veganism and the word “snob.” i’m not sure why (well, okay, maybe peta has a bit to do with that…) but i certainly don’t think i’m a snob! and a lot of vegans i know aren’t, either!

lately i’ve found myself rethinking what i share with people. i never want to make another person feel badly about their food choices or their lifestyle. i do not feel superior to anyone. i just love what i love and i love sharing what i love! but often times i forget my interests are not other people’s interests. not everyone cares about the hormones in their food or the difference between organic and non-organic or how certain foods boost energy and mood.

so i guess my question is this: how do you share healthy eating without appearing “preachy?” it’s a hard line to follow, i think, because when someone encroaches on a person’s lifestyle — intentionally or not — the first reaction that person usually takes is a defensive one. how do you share your passions in an appropriate way? have you found yourself monitoring what you say?

anyway, enjoy your monday kidlettes! i have work some 6-10 tonight then a party for my friend who is about to leave for spain for a year. i don’t want to think about that quite yet so, let’s just call it a party!

namaste!

zoe!

good afternoon!

sorry i’ve fallen off the blog-o-sphere as of late. i’ve just been really, really, ridiculously good looking busy. between work outs, kicking it with friends, and running errands i am unfortunately finding little time to write up interesting posts. i don’t feel particularly interesting at this moment. so i’m just going to catch you up on thoughts and events and foods of the past few days.

food number one:

tofu noodles! i saw these at my local grocery store and swooped them immediately. were they good? yes! very tasty! i paired them with a raw zucchini, lightly steamed carrots, and the remainder of the sauce i made the other day. super yum.

final thoughts: while this was delicious and super low in calories (20 per serving and there’s two servings in that package! i ate it all in one sitting), i wish i read in the back before buying them. because i read tofu on the front, i assumed the noodles would be a good source of protein. wrong. for the entire package, there is only two grams of protein. bummer. but a delicious bummer nonetheless.

the other night i returned home completely ravenous. i wanted something indian inspired, and quick. so i threw together this (kind of?) curry in a hurry:

turned out pretty good for being a kind-of curry! i served it over some quinoa i cooked because i was way too impatient to wait for brown rice.

and today, i made my very first batch of hummus! because i soaked my own chick peas the other day. i’m not giving out a recipe because i am still working on making it legit…too legit to quit, in fact. and i don’t think it’s too legit to quit yet. a friend just gifted me a HUGE bag of walnuts, too! i just prepped some raw taco “meat” for my dinner using them. i plan on creating a raw dessert soon with them as well. recipe for that as soon as i get around to it!

yesterday i spent the day on top of mount tam again. lost in the trees again. twas awesome.

sigh. the redwoods are so pretty. one thing i noticed yesterday while lost in the beautiful greenery that is northern california’s muir woods? i have an issue with being present in the moment. i tend to allow my mind to wander to future events. my body may be present and alert to the time and space i occupy at any given second, but my mind rarely is. i have trouble focusing completely on what i am doing at any period of time. so yesterday, as i wound through the woods, all i could think about was what i was going to do when i got home. where’s the logic in that? i tend to catch myself doing this quite often. i’m going to work on that.

and in other news, i’ve been feeling awesome lately (although today i am fighting off a bit of a funk). i’ve stayed dedicated to avoiding chocolate (although i may have had a slice of raw raspberry mocha layer cake from cafe gratitude on national junk food day and it may or may not have contained cacao ;)) and i have not baked a single thing (though i am seriously itching to. bag of walnuts = a world of raw desserts! i can’t wait!!!). i’m seriously going to start avoiding sugar because i’ve noticed how different i feel mentally and physically without it in my diet. moderation!

also, i start every morning with yoga, even on my “shred days”. and boy have i noticed a difference. my core feels stronger. my mind feels lighter. and today i stepped on a scale just to check in. i won’t tell you what i weigh because i don’t think that’s important, but i’ve lost five pounds from the last time i weighed myself (about two weeks ago? maybe more.) i was pretty shocked because i look more or less the same — just more toned. yoga is a god send, for both the body and the mind. i even went to the pool the other day and felt confident in my bikini. that’s major. MAJOR. seriously, i never ever thought i’d be comfortable in my own skin. but i honestly think the goal is attainable by the end of this year.

siiigh. i’m really in love with life right now. i’m trying to see the beauty and the blessings in each and every day.

on that note, i should mention i’m leaving tomorrow to spend the week in lake tahoe with my family. i am so excited to relax and unwind and get away from everything for a second. our family friends are lending us their home which means i will have a kitchen to cook in! oh yeah, i’ve already stuffed a bag full of food to take with me! i will not be posting anything. i’m unplugging for seven solid days.

have a great week and apologies for this scattered, really horribly written post!

namaste!

zoe!

goooooooood afternoon lovies :)!

is the day sunshiny and bright and beautiful where you are? i hope so! it certainly is over here. i just got back from a round of ultimate frisbee golf with a couple of friends. i biked over to the area and finally got to snap some pictures! i biked along the trail i usually run. (by the way, i cannot at all express to you how happy i am whenever i remember i am no longer running. i feel lighter and freer. so i think i am doing something right here in the decision making department!)


(the rest here are just ones i took biking up the hill (i didn’t stop!!!) to the course.)




(my school is on the left!)

i am so blessed to live out here. during the rainy season the hills turn an ireland-like green. it’s so pretty!

before i biked to meet my friends, i did a 20 minute gentle hatha flow. and then started day one of jillian michael’s 30 day shred! i have no form of strength training going on and i need a new replacement for cardio and have heard good things about this video. it worked me a bit but i also started with 3 pound weights. i think when i advance to five pounds, my arms and back will really start to feel the burn!

i also started out the day with this lovely smoothie bowl:

the bowl contains one frozen nanner, one white peach, a BIG handful of spinach, half a cup of almond milk, half a cup of water, and half a teaspoon of xanthan gum (found for cheap at target of all places!). i sprinkled the last of my puffins on top and added a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes! it was so good. something about eating a smoothie out of a bowl leaves me feeling much more full than if i drank it out of a glass. weird, right?

anyway, what i really want to talk about today is judgement. we all have opinions…so we also all have judgements. when we pass judgement on ourselves or on others, the action may never be intentional; if anything it might just be instinctual. it may also never be acknowledged as well. we are a very judgmental society. the action of judging someone or something comes naturally. we usually do not think twice about how easily we judge.

why we judge is complicated. i think we’re constantly stuck in the comparison game. our society sets a standard in several areas of life (i.e: in beauty, intelligence, success) and a way to measure those standards against our own lives. one of the means of measurement is comparison. by thinking to yourself “well, at least i don’t look like her!” you temporarily give yourself a boost in confidence. but you are also passing a negative judgement against someone. how might that person feel if your thought did not stay in your head but some how found it’s way out of your mouth? so, in working towards being less judgmental towards myself, i decided to also start practicing non-judgmental thinking against others.

whenever i find myself passing someone and thinking “oh god, what is she wearing?” or “how can he eat that?” i stop, rewind, and reconsider. i try to find a way to compliment the person i just judged. i’ll think “well, i am not her. her clothes work for her. she’s comfortable. good for her, wearing what she wants!” or “it’s his lifestyle. he looks like a nice guy!”

since tuning into my thoughts and focusing on what my mind is actually saying, i have found my inner voice to be way less judgmental. if i look at someone, before immediately sizing myself up against them, i find myself thinking “he’s got a great smile!” or “she has really pretty eyes!”

i do this to myself as well. if i think “uh, i hate my stomach today” i’ll immediately think “okay, maybe for today you hate your stomach. but look at all the other positive things you have to offer!” to find beauty in others, it becomes crucial to first find beauty in yourself. otherwise, all the negativity you channel into yourself will reflect on how you view others and your environment. work at positivity, yo! it’s so worth it. living in a negative world enshrouded in negative emotions really puts a damper on living life to the fullest. it ain’t easy, never said it was. i still struggle with negative thoughts — who doesn’t? but the point is, i’m trying. even the fact that i am trying makes me feel more upbeat.

and, to end on a lighter note, let me share with you the radtastic lunch i just consumed:

pita plate! with raw carrots, raw cucumbers, and lightly steamed broccoli. not quite there yet on raw broccoli. it’s okay — just not great. paired with a whole wheat pita (89 cents at the mediterranean market!) and some super spicy sabra hummus. it was delicious. unpictured: water melon chunks!!! finally cut up that mondo watermelon i bought. froze a bunch. kept a bunch fresh. perrrrfecto!

enjoy the rest of your day!

namaste!

zoe!

is a warm guuuuun!

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

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

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

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

and this gem:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

here’s to happy dreams!

namaste

zoe

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.

lunch:

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.














namaste!

zoe!

good afternoon!

hope everyone’s tuesday is going swimmingly.

i woke up around nine this morning. i’m far too much of a morning person. funny too, as i used to be the queen of sleeping in. now i just find it to be a waste of the day. why waste the sunshine? i even took down the black blanket covering my blinds so i could wake up with the sun.

and wake up with the sun i did. i lounged in bed for about half an hour looking at some of my favorite blogs before i got up to prepare breakfast. i decided to switch up my regular breakfast and went with a green monsterrr this morning. into my blender went two handfuls of spinach, half a nanner, one T raw cacao powder, one T ground flax seed, and one cup CHOCOLATE almond milk! new purchase. i dug it for sure.

following the GM i allowed my stomach to digest before heading out on a nice run. thanks to www.mapmyrun.com i got an exact estimate on my new running loop! turns out it was a lot more than i originally thought. it’s just under 6 and a half miles. something like 6.48? anyway, it’s the path i ran the other day when i had to stop after four miles.

today went MUCH better. my legs were itching to run and it just sounded good. the other day it did not sound or feel good but i forced myself through it. big mistake. as you know, i ended up feeling ill and ended up having to stop.

NOT that case today! today’s run absolutely rocked. i started out slower than the other day which i think really helped. i felt strong, amazing, and capable. i used some of my running tricks too: breathing into my lower stomach, not breathing shallowly, and not looking down. often times on runs i find difficult, i realize i am looking down instead of gazing straight ahead like you do in yoga. employing this looking forward technique makes all the difference, i swear. i listened to my 10k playlist and ended the run on a strong note. my pace picked up for the last three miles and i ended up back at my apartment at just under an hour. almost seven miles in under an hour? i am MOST definitely getting faster.

today’s run helped me clear my head, too. i just let myself go. yesterday’s bikram sesh did the same. it was by far the best bikram session i’ve had. i’ve been stressed and emotional for the past week. my week long PMS never fails to deliver me terrible mood swings and depression. and breakouts. it really, really blows. but it looks like i’m in the clear because i feel GREAT today, mentally, physically and emotionally. i am back to feeling confident and centered. thank the universe because i was about to lose my mind. negativity can seriously drown a person, you know? how do you deal with negativity? work outs really help but does anyone have any suggestions as to how to beat my PMS symptoms? they’re incredibly draining.

after my run i did a bit of ab work and some weight work and looooots of stretching before downing a glass of water with one T of protein powder. then i iced my knee, blogged it up a bit, and showered. then lunch. a great, great lunch!

salad!

contents: half mango, one head of romaine (i have a TON to get through! operation eat through the pantry is certainly rollin’!), 1/4th of an avocado and a sprinkle of pepitas. i made a dressing consisting of the juice from one lime, one t agave nectar (i find agave ridiculously sweet and cannot handle much of it at one time. plus, all the reports deeming it worse then high fructose corn syrup have me using it in moderation.) and 2 t olive oil. ultra yum. hit the spot.

i paired the salad with a sweet potato i baked last night!

baked sweet potatoes totally win over microwaved ones. it takes more time but it’s certainly worth it. i spread a bit of almond butter on it. omnomnomnoooom! this lunch absolutely hit the spot. i’m on track with eating more and more often, too. we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the week!

currently listening to some musica and staring out the windows at the beautiful summer sky. i think i’m about to go on a leisurely bike ride or something. i hate being inside when it looks so gorgeous outside. ya dig?

also, i realized on my run today that i keep forgetting to post my playlists!
my 10k playlist:
hide & seek (tiesto remix)
aliens exist (blink 182! oh hell yeah i still love this band!)
& down (boyz noize. LOVE this guy!)
oh! (a-track boyz noize remix)
every time we touch (cascada. what up high schooool!)
fancy footwork (chromeo)
face to face (daft punk. OBSESSION. daft punk = life.)
let it go (deadmau5. deadmau5 (deadmouse) is AMAZING.)
ghosts n’ stuff (more deadmau5)
speakerphone (kylie minogue. a very under appreciated woman! she makes some awesome pop!)
bulletproof (la roux. i have a dubstep remix too which i heard before la roux’s version. it’s ah-mazing.)
disco heaven (lady gaga)
starstruck (lady gaga)
just dance (lady gaga)
poker face (lady gaga)
satellite mind (metric)
misery business (paramore. the only song i can stand by this band.)
lisztomania (phoenix. i have been in love with this bad for about three years. they are simply amazing. their old stuff is spectacular. i really encourage anyone and everyone to check them out. they’re one of my favorite bands.)
1901 (phoenix)
we will rock you (queeeeeeeen!!!)
hurt you (the sounds)
a-punk (vampire weekend. love this band, too.)
untouched (the veronicas. pump up action right here, folks!)
gold guns girls (metric. metric is great.)
stadium love (metric)
my girls (animal collective. okay lets talk about my straight up obsession with animal collective. i have SO much animal collective on my ipod. sigh. they’re…indescribable.)
summertime clothes (animal collective. this was the first song i ever heard by them. i stumbled upon them with stumble upon.)
boyfriend (ashlee simpson. the only time i will ever listen to ashlee simpson.)
L.O.V.E (ashlee simpson…)
track 15 (it’s by hot chip. actually, it’s a remix of a hot chip song. not sure which one. sorry…)
talk to me (peaches. this bitch is badass on way too many levels.)
lasso (phoenix. funny only new phoenix made it’s way onto this playlist!)
4 songs & a fight (the sounds)
pop the glock (uffie!)
just a girl (no doubt. PUMP. UP.)

if you didn’t notice, i love electronica. it’s much more then the same beat over and over, i promise. under the umbrella of techno there is so much more then house, which most people associate with techno (aka: the same pounding beat over and over and over.) look into dubstep. or drum & base. two of my faaaavorite types of electronica music. ESPECIALLY dubstep. le sigh. i love it.

what do you listen to when you work out? what is your favorite kind of music? got any good work out music you can share? i’m always on the look out for fresh new stuff to work out to! keeps the work outs fun and exciting 🙂

before i go officially, i’m going to leave you with this uplifting bit:
the happiest, most positive little girl ever.

feeling down? just take a look at this. i think we can all take a cue from this little ball of positivity and recreate her antics whenever we’re down. i think i’ll try to!

have a great day, kidlettes!

namaste!

zoe!