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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: weather

before i dive into my latest rambling, i want to first acknowledge the horrific events occuring in japan. my positive thoughts go out to all the people affected. events like these make me feel badly for ever complaining. i know everyone has her own problems, but sometimes i feel shallow and stupid for worrying about what i worry about. my heart goes out to all the victims. i hope the healing process can begin soon…

(and on another side note, thank you all so much for your sweet, sweet comments. there were so thoughtful and heartfelt and i really appreciate them!)

i have never been a very independent person. i am shy, quick to over analyze, and grow anxious very, very fast in certain situations. i am hesitant to try new things alone and usually end up dragging a friend with me.

now, however, i see just how utterly important it is to erase the lines i’ve drawn around myself. two days ago, i had a breakthrough. and yesterday? i had a revelation.

breakthrough: thursday afternoon, i went climbing…alone. the only people i climb with are k and our mutual friend, joe. clearly k never lets me know when he climbs and joe never remembers (or chooses not to) inform me of his own climbing schedule so i generally get left out. i wallowed for a bit and grew anxious over the thought of rarely climbing again but then it hit me: i have myself. if people i considered friends suddenly want to leave me out of their lives, so be it. i have myself and i have legs that can take me to the wall. i have a voice to ask people for a belay. i have the ability to climb alone. so i did. and guess what? it was a blast! i almost chickened out, too. i’m so glad i didn’t! i cannot tell you the confidence i felt after climbing solo yesterday. i felt empowered and so capable.

revelation: i am the only person standing in the way of experiencing life. by doling out excuse after excuse, i am essentially denying myself opportunities — for fun, for growth, for learning. by sticking to the main road instead of carving out a new trail in a new direction, i am only deepening the grooves of paths i’ve walked a million and a half times. where’s the excitement in that? where’s the adventure? i’m so sick of not trying things i want to try simply because i am scared.

confidence comes from testing yourself. confidence comes from pushing past your comfort zones and truly discovering what you are capable of.

each day i’ve been trying to push past my comfort zone. i’ve been trying to listen to my inner voice and ignore the negative voice i tend to listen to more often. two days ago i went climbing alone. yesterday, i experienced a pretty powerful revelation. today? well…

today, i quit an hour long yoga podcast twenty minutes from the end. why? because i realized i hate baptise power yoga. because i realized the thought it of produced anxiety in my chest. because i realized i only pushed myself through it purely for a work out, not for a reconnection of mind and body. because when david farmer said “be true to you” i realized i wasn’t. so i stopped. i never stop a work out.ever. as a person attempting to calm my compulsive exercising habit, i think i just did myself a huge favor: i just acted out of self-love.

oh, and let me just reassure you — that was not easy. i am feeling an intense need to supplement with more activity. i’m judging. i’m uncomfortable.

yet…isn’t that what the road to self-love is?

aren’t we supposed to feel uncomfortable? isn’t that what moving past comfort zones is? i think so, and i intend to keep on keepin’ on. tomorrow? well, i have a special challenge for myself. i’m excited and nervous and feeling silly for even calling it a challenge. we all start somewhere though, right? i’ll show you tomorrow.

as for the rest of the day…it’s a bit sunny outside. i want to go out on a walk (originally planned pre-quitting yoga. not supplementing, promise!) to clear my mind and enjoy the patches of blue sky. it’s been nice recently, too…



hope you all have a wonderful saturday!

what have you done recently that’s “outside of your comfort zone”? what do you want to do if you haven’t? and what’s keeping you from doing it?!

namaste

zoe

let’s get all high school english paper here and crank out a solid dictionary definition before we go any farther:

endurance
–noun

1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.
2. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina: He has amazing physical endurance.
3. lasting quality; duration: His friendships have little endurance.
4. something endured, as a hardship; trial.

endurance and the act of enduring has been on my mind lately.

it was on my mind mid-way through level three of jillian michael’s 30 day shred earlier this morning. as i sunk down into another push-up, a thought occurred to me. some little voice went, “huh, i’m not huffing and puffing like i was two weeks ago.” then it went, “huh, i seem to not be doing the modified version, either. what the hell?”

my endurance is up. across the board. my runs feel stronger, my yoga sessions more solid. while climbing i don’t feel as fatigued as quickly and recovery feels speedy. mountain climbers don’t kick my ass like they used to. am i getting stronger? all signs point to yes. thank you, strength training. you are amazing. i don’t know why i shunned you for so long!

i endured a lot emotionally during the entire month of february. now that the month has officially come to a close, i feel better. k put me into a position where i doubted myself. a lot of these doubts have left me not feeling like i am enough. doubt prompted me to say, “i’m not good enough. i’m not pretty enough. i’m not funny enough. i’m not smart enough.” worst of it, doubt told me i am not worthy enough to eat. that if i was thinner things would be different. i’ve been enduring that voice as best as i can. i know those thoughts are not true.

sometimes, though, it’s difficult to convince yourself you are worth health and happiness so you reach out for the the only thing available to you for instant gratification. which, in this case, is converting back to old, awful habits that bring you nothing but a twisted, unreal sense of happiness. i know i need to eat and i know that not eating is unhealthy, but i’m still finding myself avoiding certain foods and feeling an uncomfortable, familiar sense of panic when confronted with them. example? for lunch i planned on eating a gluten free, brown rice wrap filled with veggies and beans. but when it came time to take out the wrap, i chickened out and stuck to the veggies and beans. it was kind of a downer.

the positive parts about this are i know these feelings of doubt will leave me soon. very soon. most already have. i feel loads better than last week. each day brings a stronger sense of renewed happiness. i credit this shift in attitude to friends and my family. sometimes i forget the support system surrounding me. i also credit this to the fact that i am seeing the situation realistically. this has nothing to do with me.

so on that note, i’m going out for a low-key bike-ride. i’ve got new music on zee old ipod (mumford & sons officially owns my soul, by the way) and i’ll bring along my camera, too. it’s beautiful outside in an almost-spring-but-still-winter kind of way. i can’t wait to show you! i hope you are all having a spectacular tuesday. i’ve got work later tonight but also a chance to see my friends as well. it’s shaping up to be a decent tuesday! (my least favorite day of the week!)

how do you endure? do you rely on yourself, or do you have a support system? have you seen any physical endurance changes? are mountain climbers not kicking your ass anymore, either?! :)!

namaste

zoe

(oh, and here’s a little mumford & sons action for you!)

a lot. like, a lot a lot. it hailed for three straight minutes the other day. it looked like snow blanketed the ground. kind of bananas, considering i do like in northern california and usually hail lasts for thirty seconds, tops.

anyway, the weather is not the point, really. more news regarding life and k is the point, really. on wednesday night i ended it with k, officially. nothing felt like it did before i found out all i found out. i didn’t feel as happy, or excited as i did before. i felt like we were forcing it. and you know what? he agreed. he and i both think he needs time to figure himself out and what he actually wants. it makes sense and i understand. i’m just sorry this happened at all. there was no need to rush into anything but we allowed our emotions to get the best of us. lesson learned, right?

we decided to be friends for the moment, because neither of us wants the other out of each others lives (…there’s something grammatically wrong in that sentence, but this english major is just too tired to figure it out). how do i feel? sad. but i know this is the right thing to do. i’ve had a little voice in the back of my mind telling me so for a little over a week now, ever since i found out all i found out. and you know what? i spent last night and part of this morning at work in complete misery but then i found some deep buried strength and clung to it. after work i went on a run, did some yoga, and spent the afternoon with a friend of mine. instead of wallowing, i’m choosing to focus on the good in my life, because the universe knows i need it now.

i’m really okay with being friends. who knows, we might end up back together in the long run. but i’m not going to focus on that, because the future is something i cannot predict. i’m focusing on right now. and right now, we’re friends. and there’s a million other guys out there who can better appreciate the person i am and actually commit themselves to something special. so. friends it is.

so it’s raining. and i’m trying not to be grey. watching the entire first season of glee is helping, that’s for sure. (oh yeah, i’m addicted. i don’t know how i resisted this for so long).

hope you’re having a lovely friday night and enjoy your weekend! i promise fashion things soon. whatchu think?

what do you do to keep yourself happy?

personally, i play good music, surround myself with good people, concentrate on eating well, and, of course, do ridiculous amounts of yoga and regular exercise :)!

namaste

zoe

i never used food to punish myself in the past few days. though completely stressed this entire week, binge eating rarely occurred (maybe once, and on a very low scale). healthy eats seemed to be all i wanted. my comfort foods = carrots and hummus. funny how comfort foods change after living a new lifestyle for a year and a half.

i’m enjoying running again. maybe because i’m running to feel alive instead of running to punish myself or simply to burn calories.

…i‘m not worried about the number on the scale, even though it’s ten numbers up from where i thought i should be. i only seem to shrug it off every time i step on it. maybe it’s time to chuck the damn piece of useless plastic, huh?

i’ve maintained my current weight for three months. without trying. clearly my body wanted to be here all along.

i’m kind of in love with my curves. i can’t fight my genetics anyway and this is so obviously how i am built. my 34 D boobs stayed 34 D no matter how small i got last year. an indication? yes, i think so. do i want to lose weight? no, not necessarily, but i do want to tone up. that being said, however…

i don’t, and won’t, force the issue. i’d rather focus on being happy instead of focusing on (and obsessing over) my appearance. if i happen to lose weight along the way, cool. really though: whatthefuckever.

plus all my clothes still fit, anyway. just differently. meaning, they actually fit instead of fall off.

i look forward to all my work outs. i no longer see them as a chore that must be done but as an opportunity to feel alive. the feeling i get after moving my body cannot be compared to much else.

i’m still a little anxious when i look in the mirror of put on a pair of jeans. but then i remind myself i’m healthy again, and that this is what healthy people look like. and then i feel better almost immediately.

the negative moods i always seemed to swim in in previous months rarely strike me. and yes, i am enjoying this reemerging surge of positivity i thought i lost a long time ago.

interestingly enough, life feels a lot brighter and lighter. yes, some days i struggle but those days pop up infrequently. i am feeling stronger and more brave each day. do i still have issues i need to work on? of course. everyone does. but the difference between the me now and the me of months passed is that i am choosing positivity instead of negativity. i’m choosing to focus on the things in my life that really matter. like health and happiness. not the size of my waist, hips, thighs and stomach. that’s all just too stressful, don’t you think?

and, interestingly enough, i don’t think i can answer this question so well…

well, ten years is a long time for now. i hate looking into the future simply because i don’t know what’s going to happen. i don’t want to assume, i don’t want to say ‘i hope to be doing x, y, and z’ because i know that i’ll be changing so much in those ten years. i’ve changed so much in the four plus years i’ve been out of high school. it’s astounding.

but, i guess to give you a general impression of ‘where i want to be’, i’d say i’d want to be in a comfortable place in my life where i am truly happy. where i am doing something i love. i want to be feel supported by the people i love in my life and vice versa. i want all these superficial worries of mine to be non existent. and i want to give — my time, my love, my heart, my compassion, my energy. will all this happen? i don’t know. but i sure think it will!

hope you’re all having a wonderful saturday. me? well, i got off work about an hour ago, just ate some lunch, and am about to shred it with jillian michales before i go rock climb with some friends and drive on home for a little visit with my parents and one of my best, best, best and oldest friends (2nd grade!). enjoy the sunshine! (if you can at least…if you can’t, well, enjoy a picture of a warm beach while you cuddle up with some tea :))

what interesting things have occurred to you recently? where do you ‘want to be in ten years’?

namaste

zoe

happy sunday morning! or, rather, happy grey, misty, humid sunday morning. the weather can’t quite decide what it wants to be today. i still kind of love it.

yesterday the good vibes just kept on rolling. and the run? hands down the best run i’ve ever been on. ever. from start to (reluctant) finish, i only felt awesome. i dug on the music, dug on the beautiful scenery, dug on the ridiculous happiness cultivating in my chest. it felt good to move my legs like that. and it felt good to not associate it strictly with the amount of calories burned. i never ran long distances to challenge myself in a healthy, fun way — i only did it to burn, burn, burn. not part of this run felt like a challenge, though. my legs carried me seamlessly from one spot to the next. i followed no set path. i stopped only because i needed to meet candace at the house on her break. oh, and can i just add: running with knees that are not bums kicks ass. i like the no pain knees better. go figure.

and i took some advice from my latest obsession, thrive, and ate a recovery snack high in easily digestible carbs. according to brendan braizer, consuming a recovery snack high in protein and fat directly after a work out forces the body’s energy and blood flow to the stomach in order to digest. this energy, crucial now as the body is recovery from a work out, can now not properly repair the body. the body’s repair time gets extended and a lot of energy is expanded. he suggests eating a small recovery snack and then a few hours later, when the body has had some time to repair, eat your protein-rich meal. it helps the body recover faster!

i’ve practiced this philosophy a for the past couple of weeks and i can tell you i seriously feel a difference. i have more energy after my work outs. i feel myself recovering much more quickly. i don’t wake up fatigued and sore and miserable the next day. it’s pretty awesome! yesterday’s recovery snack was a smoothie. half a banana, half a overwhelmingly delicious farmer’s market white peach, some ice and some almond milk. the crucial ingredient? sea salt! i sprinkled a good bit in there because i am a biiiig salty sweater. yum.

for dinner a few hours later, i went with exactly what my body was craving: carbs, carbs, carbs. and this was born:

a roasted garlic hummus smothered millet, eggplant and kale brown rice quesadilla!

i baked the eggplant before i put it in the quesadilla. this was absolutely delicious. seriously. just look at it.

and, oddly enough, i was craving salt. i took it as a cue from my body to add a bit more salt — i must of sweat out a ton!

for dessert about an hour later i created something yummy! i am still off the chocolate train for now (and, actually, feel a bit better). but i do eat cocoa powder and raw cacao powder. so i put this together:

nut butter chocolate cups!

one is sunflower seed butter, the other almond butter. all i did was take coconut oil, melt it down, and mix it with unsweetened coco powder. i find i really enjoy the unsweetened taste of chocolate now. i’m weird. really, though, i credit this to my drastic decrease in sugar. i rarely, if ever, consume white refined sugar and i feel better because of it. sugar just doesn’t work for my body. have you ever found anything you just don’t jive with at all?

but anyway, onto the business of this deliciousness. all i did was melt the coconut oil, put half in the bottom of two cupcake holders. then stuck them in the freezer for about ten minutes to harden some so the nut butters wouldn’t sink to the bottom of the cup. then i topped it off with nut butter and then the remainder of the melted coconut oil. the good thing about coconut oil? well besides being pretty darn good for you, it freezes quickly! so you can consume this in no time at all:

i’m having fun in the kitchen again. it’s exciting.

i’m balancing pretty well at the moment. my libra scales are happy. i am happy. and concentrating on expanding that happiness. i’m listening closely to my body and, wouldn’t you know it, successfully balancing my emotions, my skin, my weight, my metabolism, my energy. i’m not sure if i have, but i feel like i’ve stumbled onto something here. regardless i’m totally running with it. i’m breathing a big sigh of relief this sunday morning.

i’m taking it easy today. i’ve got family dinner this evening and work tomorrow at 6:45. so i’m just doing homework and hopefully retiring to bed eaaaarly. it’s been a sleepless kind of weekend. maybe i’ll squeeze in some nice hatha yoga if i have time. anyway, have a good one!


(i can sit in half lotus now! my hips are so. tight. another gift from running and stress)

namaste!

zoe!

(and p.s: just looking at this picture from last night. my skin is healthy again you guys. i’m so happy :)!
)

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

what did i do?

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

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

cloooose uuuppp!

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

another great part of yesterday? BUFFALO!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

namaste!

zoe!

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!