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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: work

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’?



my situation appeared a little gloomy last post, didn’t it? not my intention.

especially because i had such an amazing night last night. i work with some hilarious, entertaining, fantastic individuals. the giants game was so much fun. i carted into the city myself and four other boys (two of them being the boys i mentioned earlier in the week). somehow i always manage to become bffs with guys much quicker than with girls. strange phenomenon (holy hell i just spelled that word right for the first time ever. sorry, but pretty sure that deserves a paranthetical announcement!). regardless, we chit chatted the entire way into the city and listened to good music. at the game i enjoyed not one but TWO beers. usually i forego drinking because the empty calories and carbs freak me out. but i decided to hell with it — i was at a giants game and i was going to enjoy myself. and i did.

my coworkers got drunk. i got a little tipsy myself. and i was all smiles the entire evening. even though i got back late and woke up at four unable to go back to sleep, i am still having an amazing day. i woke up super pumped for the day to begin. worked from 7-1:30. ate a delicious, filling lunch and am about to set out on a run.

confession: since breaking up with running about two and a half months ago, no part of me has wanted to run. recently, however, the running itch has returned and the need to scratch it continues to grow. part of me is hesitant because part of me believes i am only interested (still) in the calorie burning aspect of the work out. but the other, much, much more rational aspect of my self, recognizes the budding joy i have found in my last few runs. at work today all i could think about was running. not running a lot, just a little — something like two to three miles at an easy peasy pace. with walking breaks if need be. i am not pushing myself anymore in anything — i’m only doing things i like and only doing as much as my body wants me to. i’m getting better at this whole listening to my body, don’t you think? personally i’m really proud of the progress i have made. really.

so if i feel like running from now on, i think i’m going to give it a shot. most days include yoga (okay, basically all days) but some days will now include running, i think. i’m about ready to rebuild this relationship the healthy way. since tearing through thrive by brendan brazier, i realized how little i was feeding myself back in my heavy running days. i was never properly fueled for my runs or properly recovering from my runs. i did not realize the impact my intentional restriction would have on my body. bodily stress = weight gain. bodily stress = bad skin. bodily stress = unstable emotions. bodily stress = depression. all the negative i experienced came from denying my body what it craved. i hope to see a nutritionist soon because i am still at a bit of a loss as to what i should be eating and how much and when. because i am not ready to give up this vegan lifestyle — i love it so much. thrive has helped me see and truly value to importance of taking care of my body. it is a temple, after all. seriously, i really, REALLY recommend thrive. there’s awesome nutritional facts about all kinds of food and delicious recipes. and pre and post workout recovery tips! the guy is smart, for sure.

anyway, i’m about to take off on my run now. wish me luck! i’ll let you all know how it turns out. have a fantastic saturday, my loves!



i swear, i do!

somewhere between a 37 hour work week and a 20 unit course load i lost track of my blog. sorry, i might be a sporadic-post type of semester! something tells me no one really minds though 🙂

so last week kicked my butt! but alls well and alls good because i made 75 bucks in tips for the week and i’m pretty sure i have a fat pay check headed my way. score one!

because of all the hectic business, i really have nothing noteworthy to write to you all about. school is school. i’m in love with my writing classes (per usual) and the story i started just keeps gushing from my fingers. i am eating well, i am working out well, i am thinking well — i am well. i know i say it a lot and double back over the statement, but i honestly feel stronger and more sane each and every day. the more i balance, the less i feel the need to binge, to stress, to cry, to feel down, to over exert my body.

i will say, though, on saturday i had a near-nervous breakdown. at dinner. with my parents. know i have yet to share this whole disordered-eating-compulsive-exercising issue with my parents who, i’m sure, have a slight idea though not a very well rounded one. i mentioned my stomach hurt (which it did. and i credit this to drinking water during my meal. i’ve found drinking during eating upsets my stomach!) and this sent my mom into a “maybe it’s your diet. you’re very restrictive.” to which (okay, yes, i am but i’m getting so much better at this! and being vegan also cuts a lot out of my life, too.) i said “yes, but it’s also all inclusive of a lot of other foods (you have no idea about)” which only set her off.

soo…i started to cry. i politely asked her if we could not talk about it at that moment but she kept pushing it. so i said, teary eyed and embarrassed, “can we please not talk about this right now? please?” until she finally stopped. i lost my appetite. my stomach hurt for the rest of the night. and i barely talked for the rest of the meal. it was miserable.

not miserable? this progress. this feeling of unshakeable capability. i feel so together in this moment. whenever i feel the need to weigh myself or whenever i feel a negative emotion creeping up on me, i tackle my irrational mind with my rational mind and remind myself my weight is not important. it does not define who i am. believe it or not, this makes a whole world of difference.

and yoga…well, yoga is my life saver. i return to my mat over and over again in times of stress and doubt. yesterday, after a long day at school and work, i returned home and hopped on my mat for a 90 minute home bikram session. it. rocked. i left my mat feeling strong and happy. i miss bikram at my studio but i have no time to commit to something as expensive as it is. for now, i’ll be sticking to my home yoga sessions until i graduate this fall (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !)

well, that’s it for me right now. i’ve got class in forty and i’ve gotta jet. cause iiii’m walkin’! have a good one. i promise more interesting posts in the future 🙂

namaste 🙂


hello dear bloggies.

i apologize for the absenteeism and the slight freak out. thanks for rolling your eyes and bearing with me. i feel like i can be a bit dramatic at times but honestly, everything i wrote in the previous post was definitely not over dramatized.

if you’re wondering how i am today, five days after that post, let me tell you. i feel a million times better. a miiiiiillion. funks always eventually disappear this one just happened to take it’s time. which was frustrating and far too emotional. i credit it to PMS. my mood swings kind of spin out of control during my period and the week leading up to it. for two weeks out of the month, usually, i freak. out. my skin freaks out, my body freaks out, my mind freaks out. it is no pretty picture. i am just happy the week ended.

this week brought with it much more happiness. and a few stories. i started school. 20 units for my final semester. what am i taking? intro to novel writing. periods in brit lit (for which i am TAing for AND taking), intro to fiction (i am in love with my teacher already), and advanced poetry (we’ll see how this one goes. i am not very good at poetry). although i’m still not too stoked, my intro to fiction class got me excited for the semester.

i also scheduled an appointment at the counseling center for next thursday before class. i already feel some amount of stress and anxiety leaving. i know i am not an extreme case of anything, but i need help managing my anxiety and overcoming my disordered eating. i got to discuss a lot with candace (who stole the scale from me. although…i’m pretty embarrassed to say i stole it back without her knowing…) but discussing all this with a professional will be incredibly beneficial because (hopefully) they’ll know how to counsel me through it.

now let’s talk work. it’s been a good five days and not anything too noteworthy has happened. that’s because of work. i worked 30 hours this week. i work 37.75 hours next week. on top of a 20 unit schedule. yeah…how am i going to fit in homework and a regular life are two questions on my mind, too. i’m going to work it out and hopefully (seriously, fingers crossed) i won’t have such a heavy work load the week after next. hopefully.

in terms of yoga well…thanks to work my lower back has been killing me. i’ve tried staying off my mat for the most part but yesterday i did an hour core flow and it felt aaaaahmazing. no back pain. it really only sparks up when i’m on my feet or walking. it kind of sucks. because i feel like i tweaked something and it just won’t heal unless i take a good like…week and lay on the couch. ugh.

at least it’s friday today. work is over (i opened. 4 am to 8:45 am. quickest shift ever!). i’m fitting in some type of work out and i plan on relaxing for the remainder of the day. but who knows…maybe i’ll sneak an adventure in there.

i’m sorry again for the craziness. i just wanted to be honest with you and let you know where i was mentally. the fog has cleared (for the most part) and i’m back. i just need to remember everything passes eventually. and choosing happiness over unhappiness is always, always, always an option.

thanks for reading this rambling catch-up post, kidlettes. i promise more interesting posts will be coming. have a great friday.



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’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.



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.


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!



your skin care secrets that is!

as i became more aware of what i put into my body, i also started thinking about what i put on my body. suddenly, the long list of incredibly hard to pronounce, far too scientific words covering the backs of my lotions and face cleaners did not look so friendly. i took my face wash one day and popped onto google to figure out just what the hell i was scrubbing into my face every night. did i like what i found? no, not really.

so, i started my skin care routine over.

luckily, i never suffered from horrible skin issues. mild acne, dryness, and at times an over production of oil are the only symptoms i’ve ever experienced in my short twenty years of life. and, since giving up animal products, my skin breaks out less, is never dry, and is not longer oily. yay!

i also credit this to my skin care routine. what do i do to keep my skin glowing and clean? all right, this may sound odd but this is all i do: i take a cotton ball, douse it in olive oil, and rub it over my face. then i take a soft washcloth, wet it and gently rub it over my face using circular motion. the olive oil, believe it or not, clears the gunk out of your pores. it’s also a great eye make-up remover. it took off my waterproof mascara far better than any other eye make-up remover i’ve ever used. this, paired with a light exfoliation, keeps my skin clear and bright. i only wash my face at night and always take off my make up (though i only wear eye make-up and sunscreen).

and there you have it! i’d love to know if you’ve found a more natural way to take care of your skin. and while we’re at it, why don’t you tell me three things about yourself? i’d like to get to know the people who are reading this little blog of mine 🙂

i’ll go first!
1) i love change more than the average person. generally, i rearrange my room just about every six months. i did it yesterday! and when candace comes home (two weeks!) we’re overhauling our kitchen and living room.

2) i will be graduating college this fall only a few months after my 21st birthday and will do so in 3.5 years. considering budget cuts, this is pretty amazing!

3) i’m not afraid of heights like most people are. i’m afraid of looking at images taken underwater. so you know the scene in the beginning of titanic where the little submarine is scoping out the sunken boat? yeah, i watch that through my fingers.

it’s just about noon here on the california coast and i’ve already put a four hour work shift (hello 4:45 wake up call!) and a hour and fifteen minute yoga session behind me. i’m about ready to go out and enjoy the sunshine.